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Field Reference Manual for

Quality Concrete Pavements


Publication No. FHWA-HIF-13-059

September 2012
Notice
This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation
in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of
the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or


manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the
objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve
Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards
and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its
information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to
ensure continuous quality improvement.
Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
Publication No. FHWA-HIF-13-059

4. Title and Subtitle 5. Report Date


September 2012
Field Reference Manual for Quality Concrete Pavements
6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s) 8. Performing Organization Report No.


Gary Fick, Peter Taylor, Robert Christman, J. Mauricio Ruiz
9. Performing Organization Name and Address 10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
The Transtec Group
6111 Balcones Drive 11. Contract or Grant No.
Austin, TX 78731 DTFH61-08-D-00019-T-10002

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address 13. Type of Report and Period Covered
FHWA Office of Pavement Technology
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20590
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
HIPT-20
15. Supplementary Notes
FHWA Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Gary Crawford

16. Abstract
This Field Reference Manual for Quality Concrete Pavements was developed as part of an effort sponsored by
FHWA to develop the “state-of-the-practice” for Quality Assurance (QA) of concrete pavements. This goal has
been achieved through the development of this document and workshop training materials that provide
engineers, inspectors, technicians and constructors a more thorough understanding of QA as it relates to the
long-term performance of concrete pavements.

Although excellent training courses and workshops are offered by National Highway Institute (NHI) and others,
obtaining training through conventional training courses is becoming increasingly difficult because of time and
budget constraints. The training materials developed as part of this effort aim at addressing these needs and at
providing a link between construction operations and QA.

Development of these deliverables required synthesizing existing reference documents and formatting the
deliverables in a manner which is easy to understand and clearly communicates the importance of QA activities
on the long-term performance of concrete pavements. The resulting workshop materials and Quality Field
Reference for Concrete Pavements were designed to provide the end user with the knowledge of why QA is
critical to the construction process and also provide the confidence and ability to implement improved QA
processes through “real-world” case study examples that were designed to be interactive.

17. Key Word 18. Distribution Statement


Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Training, Inspection, No restrictions. This document is available to the public
Construction, Concrete Pavements through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

19. Security Classif. (of this report) 20. Security Classif. (of this page) 21. No. of Pages 22. Price
Unclassified Unclassified 121 N/A

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

pg. iii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This document is the product of a task order issued by the Federal Highway Administration and performed by The
Transtec Group, Inc. Those contributing to the completion of the project include:
• Mauricio Ruiz, The Transtec Group, Inc.
• Dr. Peter Taylor, P.E., National Concrete Pavement Technology Center
• Dale Harrington, P.E., Snyder and Associates, Inc.
• Gary Fick, Trinity Construction Management Services, Inc.
• Mr. Doug Schwartz, P.E., Gateway Engineering and Training, LLC
• Dr. Fatih Bektas, National Concrete Pavement Technology Center
• Robert Christman, Vanasse, Hangen, Brustlin, Inc.
• Patricia Lees, ISD Specialist, Coallition Building
• Ruth Calisch, The Transtec Group, Inc.

The project team would like to sincerely thank the Technical Working Group (TWG) for their insight and
knowledge. The guidance provided throughout the project was invaluable. The TWG members include (sorted
alphabetically):
• Pete Capon, Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc.
• Wayne Chase, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
• Gary Crawford, FHWA
• Dennis Dvorak, FHWA
• Jim Grove, FHWA
• Jagan Gudimettla, FHWA
• Dr. Kenneth Hover, Cornell University
• Maria Masten, Minnesota Department of Transportation
• Mike McGee, FHWA
• Kevin McMullen, Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
• Dr. Celik Ozyildirim, Virginia Transportation Research Council
• Jim Parry, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
• Mike Praul, FHWA
• Brett Trautman, Missouri Department of Transportation
• Suneel Vanikar, FHWA
• Leif Wathne, American Concrete Pavement Association

pg. iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Notice .................................................................................................................................. ii
Quality Assurance Statement ........................................................................................... ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................iv
TABLES and FIGURES ................................................................................................. vii
1. Quality Assurance Concepts ......................................................................................... 1
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 1
WHY SHOULD I CARE? ................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

2. Factors Influencing Long-Life Concrete Pavements .................................................. 9


INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 9
STRUCTURAL DESIGN .................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
PAVEMENT TYPE .............................................................................................................................................................................................11
FOUNDATION SYSTEM ................................................................................................................................................................................12
JOINTING ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................14
SMOOTHNESS .................................................................................................................................................................................................16
MIXTURE ............................................................................................................................................................................................................17
ACCEPTANCE TESTING ................................................................................................................................................................................24
TEST METHODS ...............................................................................................................................................................................................24
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER .......................................................................................................................................................................30

3. Quality Assurance for Concrete Pavements .............................................................. 31


4. Pre-Paving .....................................................................................................................33
SUBGRADE/SUBBASE CONSTRUCTION ................................................................................................................................................34
STAKING AND STRINGLINE OR STRINGLESS ......................................................................................................................................39
FINE GRADING ................................................................................................................................................................................................41
DOWEL BASKET PLACEMENT ....................................................................................................................................................................43
STEEL PLACEMENT (CRCP) ..........................................................................................................................................................................47
PAVER PREPARATION ..................................................................................................................................................................................49

5. Plant Site and Mixture Production............................................................................. 51


AGGREGATE STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT ..............................................................................................................................................53
PLANT SET-UP AND CALIBRATION .........................................................................................................................................................55
MIXTURE PRODUCTION ..............................................................................................................................................................................57
TRANSPORTING CONCRETE ......................................................................................................................................................................59

6. Placement, Finishing, Texturing, Curing and Sawing ............................................. 61


SPREADING CONCRETE ...............................................................................................................................................................................63
SLIPFORMING (extrusion) ...........................................................................................................................................................................65
INSERTION OF DOWELS AND/OR TIE BARS .......................................................................................................................................67

pg. v
HAND FINISHING ...........................................................................................................................................................................................69
TEXTURING .......................................................................................................................................................................................................71
CURING ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................73
SAWING .............................................................................................................................................................................................................75
WEATHER ADJUSTMENTS ...........................................................................................................................................................................77

References .........................................................................................................................78
Appendix A: Template Quality Control Plan ............................................................... 79
Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Quality Control Plan (QCP) ............................................................................................79

Appendix B: Weather Management Plan ...................................................................... 85


Appendix C: Iowa DOT Field Inspection Checklist ..................................................... 89
Appendix D: Suggested Meetings Between the Agency and Contractor .................. 117

pg. vi
TABLES and FIGURES

Figure 1 – Core Elements of a Quality Assurance Program......................................................................... 2


Figure 2 – Benefits of Improved Quality for Transportation Facilities..................................................... 3
Figure 3 – Sources of Construction Variability ................................................................................................. 5
Figure 4 – Test Results Must Be Interpreted Properly ................................................................................... 6
Figure 5 – Example Control Chart ......................................................................................................................... 7
Figure 6 – Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement Before Paving ..................................................................... 11
Figure 7 – Load Distribution of Unstabilized and Stabilized Bases ........................................................ 13
Figure 8 – Example of Poor Joint Detailing ..................................................................................................... 14
Figure 9 – Excessive Joint Raveling .................................................................................................................... 15
Figure 10 – Non-uniform Concrete Leads to Paving Issues ...................................................................... 18
Figure 11 – Example Coarseness and Workability Factor Chart .............................................................. 22
Figure 12 – Tests for Expansive Soils ................................................................................................................. 24
Figure 13 – Wenner Probe for Testing Surface Resistivity ......................................................................... 27
Figure 15 – Thickness Probing Behind the Paver .......................................................................................... 29
Figure 16 – Lightweight Inertial Profiler for Smoothness Testing .......................................................... 29
Figure 17 – Illustration of Subgrade, Subbase and Pavement Layers.................................................... 34
Figure 18 – Non-uniform Subgrade Leads to Stress Concentrations in Concrete Pavement ....... 34
Figure 19 – Identify Subgrade/Subbase Failures........................................................................................... 35
Figure 20 – Subgrade/Subbase Failures Must Be Repaired to Achieve Uniform Support ............. 35
Figure 21 – Visually Inspect Granular Subbase for Segregation.............................................................. 37
Figure 22 – Surveyed Reference Hub and Stringline ................................................................................... 39
Figure 23 – Stringless Paving Using a Robotic Laser and Radio Communication ............................ 40
Figure 24 – Fine Grading with a Trimmer ........................................................................................................ 41
Figure 25 – Positive Marking of Dowel Basket Location for Sawing Joints ......................................... 43
Figure 26 – Probing for Dowel Locations......................................................................................................... 44
Figure 27 – MIT Scan used to Locate Dowels ................................................................................................. 45
Figure 28 – Properly Supported Reinforcing Steel ....................................................................................... 47
Figure 29 – Staggered Laps for Longitudinal Reinforcing Bars ............................................................... 48
Figure 31 – Plan for Changes; Different Colors Indicate Variable Aggregate Moisture Content 53
Figure 32 – Proper Plant Set-up and Maintenance is Critical to Providing Uniform Concrete .... 55
Figure 33 – Transporting Concrete in a Dump Truck .................................................................................. 59
Figure 34 – Transporting Concrete in a Live Bottom Trailer ..................................................................... 59
Figure 35 – Concrete Belt Placer/Spreader...................................................................................................... 63
Figure 36 – Adjusting Paver Head with an End Loader............................................................................... 63
Figure 37 – Section View of A Slipform Paver ................................................................................................ 65
Figure 38 – Automatic Dowel Bar Inserter (DBI) ............................................................................................ 67
Figure 39 – Marking the Location of Inserted Dowels ................................................................................ 68
Figure 40 – Using a Straightedge to Identify Dips and Bumps ................................................................ 69
Figure 41 – Clean and Straight Tines Minimizes Positive Texture........................................................... 71
Figure 42 – Complete and Uniform Coverage of Curing Compound.................................................... 73
Figure 43 – Sawing Joints Requires Well Maintained Equipment and Experienced Personnel.... 75
Appendix A – Table 1: Example Materials Control Table............................................................................ 80
Appendix A – Table 2: Example QC Sampling and Testing Table ........................................................... 81
Appendix B - Chart 1: Rate of evaporation as affected by ambient conditions ................................ 88

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pg. viii
1. Quality Assurance Concepts

INTRODUCTION
The intent of this field reference for ensuring the quality of concrete pavements is to provide the practitioner in
the field with a clear and concise document that will give them guidance on steps that they can take to construct
a smooth and durable concrete pavement. In keeping with this objective, the recommendations provided in this
document are brief in nature. There are four key references from which this document was developed; these
should be consulted whenever greater detail is needed to resolve an issue or question. These four references
listed here are provided on a CD contained in a pocket of the front cover of this document:
• Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement: A State-of-the-Practice Manual,
FHWA
• Testing Guide for Implementing Concrete Paving Quality Control Procedures, National Concrete
Pavement Technology Center
• Concrete Pavement Field Reference Pre-Paving, American Concrete Pavement Association
• Concrete Pavement Field Reference Paving, American Concrete Pavement Association

References to Quality Assurance (QA) in the construction of transportation facilities can be


found as far back as the 1960s.(1) The accepted definition of QA related to transportation
infrastructure construction found in TRB Circular E-137 (May 2009) is as follows:

Quality Assurance - “All those planned and systematic actions necessary to


provide confidence that a product or facility will perform satisfactorily in service.”

A comprehensive QA training resource developed by the Federal Highway Administration (NHI


Course No. 134064, Transportation Construction Quality Assurance), defines QA in simpler
terms:(1)

“Making sure the quality of a product is what it should be.”

Publicly funded construction of transportation facilities in the U.S. is a multi-billion dollar


industry; which entrusts taxpayer funds to state transportation agencies (STAs) and private
contractors to provide a safe and long lasting network of surface transportation facilities.
Federal regulations require STAs to have an approved QA program.

A note of clarification:
In the past, the term Quality Control/Quality Assurance (QC/QA) has
incorrectly been used synonymously with QA. Early implementation of QA
concepts in the transportation arena viewed quality control as a contractor
responsibility and quality assurance as an agency responsibility. A more
comprehensive approach is to consider QC as an element of QA. Figure 1
illustrates this approach where QA is the umbrella which covers all of the
core elements for the construction of safe and long lasting transportation
facilities. Thus, the term QC/QA should no longer be used.

pg. 1
Quality Assurance

Quality Agency
Control Acceptance

Independent Assurance
Dispute Resolution
Qualified Labs
Qualified Personnel
Figure 1 – Core Elements of a Quality Assurance Program

For an in-depth discussion of the items presented in this introduction to


quality assurance concepts, refer to: Publication No. FHWA-NHI-08-067,
June 2008, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway
Administration, NHI Course No. 134064, Transportation Construction
Quality Assurance.

The primary purpose of this field reference is to provide STA and contractor personnel with
guidance aimed at improving and ensuring the quality of concrete pavements that are
constructed. Another good source of information is ACPA’s online application library which
includes several applications to assist in the design, construction, and analysis of concrete
pavements (http://apps.acpa.org/apps/).

WHY SHOULD I CARE?


Regardless of one’s role (agency or contractor) in the construction of transportation facilities, a
safe surface transportation system appeals to the universal motivation for self-preservation.
Also, as taxpayers we expect our investment to yield a long lasting transportation system. More
specifically, improved quality reduces the costs associated with re-work. These cost savings
from improved quality have benefits for contractors and agencies as shown in Figure 2.

pg. 2
Improved Quality

Reduced Costs for Agency


Improved Working &
Atmosphere Competitive Advantage
Safe
& for Contractor
Long
Lasting
Concrete
Pavements

Fewer Quality Disputes Improved Public Image

Figure 2 – Benefits of Improved Quality for Transportation Facilities

A comprehensive QA approach is the path to improved construction quality which benefits all
parties. This makes for a true win-win proposition.

Roles, Responsibilities and Communication


Quality is enhanced when the agency and contractor can agree that the common objective of
constructing a safe and long lasting concrete pavement will at the same time satisfy each
entity’s individual objectives. It is important to understand each other’s perspectives, roles and
responsibilities as they relate to quality assurance and the construction of a concrete
pavement.

Contractor
Although QC functions are commonly contractually delegated to subcontractors, producers,
fabricators and manufacturers, the prime contractor must take the lead role in monitoring the
effectiveness of quality control at all levels during the construction process. Quality control
must be integrated throughout the contractor’s operation. Both management and production
personnel must be focused on quality to achieve the desired results. Quality control consists of
more than a skeleton staff performing tests and submitting forms to the STA. True quality can
only be achieved by a trained labor force utilizing materials that conform to specifications, and
which are supported by a QC staff and program that provide timely feedback. This document
and the associated workshop materials present contractor QC functions for specific steps in the
concrete paving process in the following manner:
• Details of successful practices as a means to understand how quality impacts
performance.
• Pre-production checklists to ensure that critical items have been reviewed.
• Key inspection items that should be observed during construction.
• Testing and measurements.
pg. 3
• Appropriate actions when quality deficiencies are observed.

Continuous process improvement and prevention of defects should be the aim of the entire
contractor organization and material supply chain. It is far better to prevent defects rather than
become proficient at finding the cause of defects after the fact. Open and timely
communication between all parties is vital to an effective QC program.

Agency
The agency’s primary responsibility under a QA program is acceptance. The agency should
respect the contractor’s QC function. This means that production and placement activities
should not be controlled by the agency, but by the contractor. That is not to say that the
agency should take a “hands-off” approach, rather the agency should be proactive in
monitoring the contractor’s QC activities and insisting on conformance to the contractor’s QC
plan. Acceptance therefore consists of the following:
• Monitoring contractor QC activities.
• Measure and evaluate the quality of the final product.
• Determine the final payment value of the completed work.

Perhaps one of the most important concepts to understand regarding QA is the


distinction between contractor QC testing and acceptance testing performed by the
agency or agency’s representative. The agency should encourage the contractor to
perform QC testing, and the agency should also expect that the contractor’s QC testing
will identify some materials that are not in conformity to specifications. Contractor QC
test results are necessary to help the contractor adjust their process. These test results
are not acceptance tests nor should they lead to punitive measures. Punishing a
contractor who identifies and corrects quality deficiencies discourages QC testing,
because the contractor ultimately concludes that they would be better off avoiding the
punishment by not knowing about quality deficiencies. Quality control testing allows
for timely corrections which will minimize quality deficiencies. Acceptance testing
based on random samples will accurately reflect the overall quality of the product.

Sampling
Acceptance testing should be based upon samples which have been obtained in a random
manner to remove any potential bias. Random sampling is also applicable to contractor testing
which will be evaluated using statistical process control (SPC) techniques. Random samples
should be obtained in accordance with ASTM D 3665 or other state approved procedures such
as a spreadsheet, software, calculator or random number tables. Another sampling method
which has been commonly used in the past is selective sampling.

Selective sampling may be used in certain circumstances.(1) When a contractor makes process
adjustments or is starting production, it is desirable to take samples at non-random intervals.
For example, when random testing reveals that the air content of the concrete mixture is
trending lower, a process adjustment is made to increase the air content. At this time, it is
advisable to intentionally test the next two or more batches of concrete to monitor and
validate the effectiveness of the process change. Selective sampling may also be appropriate to
identify the limits of out of specification materials and/or workmanship. However, these
samples should not be included in an acceptance pay factor calculation. Rather, additional

pg. 4
random samples should be obtained within the limits of the “out of specification” area to
evaluate the quality of that discrete population.

Appendix C provides a detailed field inspection checklist for concrete pavement construction
used by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Communication and Meetings


The impact of communication between the contractor and the agency on quality cannot be
over emphasized. An effective QA program promotes communication and information flow
that is:
1. Open,
2. Two-way,
3. Transparent, and
4. Timely.

Project meetings can be an effective means of communicating expectations, identifying


potential conflicts and clarifying plan and specification details. Appendix D includes concrete
pavement specific checklists that can be used as a guideline for conducting effective pre-bid,
pre-work and pre-placement meetings.

Variability
The variability observed in concrete paving projects is attributable to four sources: material,
process, sampling, and testing (Figure 3).(1) It is important to note that every test result we
examine includes these sources of variability.

Material Process Sampling Testing

Composite
Variability

Figure 3 – Sources of Construction Variability

Understanding the materials and the precision and bias of each test procedure is critical to
proper interpretation of QC testing and acceptance testing (Figure 4). For example, two
technicians may test the air content of a sample of concrete using properly calibrated test
equipment. It is likely that their test results will be “different”. Some of this “difference” is
attributable solely to the inherent variability in the test procedure. Because of this, test results
which are very near or outside of specification limits should be interpreted with care and
repeated whenever possible. Some concrete tests are simply too imprecise to be used as
acceptance tests.

pg. 5
Figure 4 – Test Results Must Be Interpreted Properly

The term process control is often used synonymously with quality control. Reducing variability
in our materials and our processes is a focus of quality control efforts. Reduced variability
indicates a higher level of control. The same is true in our sampling and testing activities. We
should strive to reduce the variability of our QC testing activities. Some recommendations for
doing so are:
• Utilizing the same technician, especially within payment lots.
• All technicians should be properly trained and certified.
• Follow strict adherence to testing procedures.
• Testing equipment should be calibrated and certified as necessary.

Statistical Process Control


Control charts (Figure 5) are useful tools which when combined with some well proven rules
can assist contractors in identifying changes in their materials and processes. The primary
purpose of using Statistical Process Control (SPC), specifically control charts, is to identify
change. Their function is not to indicate whether a test result passes or fails acceptance
criteria, but rather to indicate if a test result was unusual.(2)

pg. 6
Air Content (Target = 6.5%)
9.00
air content ahead of
paver
8.00
upper control limit (3s)
Air Content (%)

7.00
upper action limit
6.00
avg. air content
5.00
lower action limit
4.00
lower control limit (-3s)
3.00
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Test #

Figure 5 – Example Control Chart

Control charts are an effective means for identifying the impact of assignable causes on the
materials and/or construction processes. Some agencies/contractors use moving average
instead of individual test results as a tool for trend evaluation. Once identified, the materials
and/or processes can be adjusted to account for the influence of the assignable cause. For
example, a sharp reduction in air content may indicate that the carbon content of the fly ash
has changed, requiring an increased dosage of air entraining admixture. Simply put, a control
chart provides a visual indication of whether a process is in control.

Detailed guidance regarding the implementation of control charts and SPC for contractor QC
organizations can be found in the Testing Guide for Implementing Concrete Paving Quality
Control Procedures, which is included on the data CD provided during the workshops
associated with this document.(3) It is also available for free at:
http://www.cptechcenter.org/technical-library/documents/mco/testing_guide.pdf.

Quality Control Plan


A quality control plan is a document prepared by the prime contractor and subcontractors
which serves as the roadmap for constructing the project within specification requirements. A
QC plan is formally defined as “A project-specific document prepared by the contractor which
identifies all QC personnel and procedures that will be used to maintain all production and
placement processes “in control” and meet the agency specification requirements.”(1)

A proper QC plan should identify the personnel, procedures and materials that will be used on
the project. Additionally, the plan should address the following for each item of work covered
by the QC plan:
1. Reference the applicable specifications for each item of work.
2. Provide action limits (not specification limits) that dictate when the process should be
adjusted.
3. Provide suspension limits that define when the process should be stopped and adjusted
before resuming production.
4. Describe what corrective actions will be taken when the process is deemed to be out of
control.

A template QC plan for concrete paving is provided in Appendix A of this document.


Additional guidance can also be found in Transportation Construction Quality Assurance.(1)

pg. 7
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pg. 8
2. Factors Influencing Long-Life Concrete Pavements
INTRODUCTION
This section discusses the decisions made in the design office and at the construction site that
can affect the life of concrete pavements. By knowing these, we can better keep an eye on
what is going on and make better decisions leading to improved longevity of the pavement.

There are a number of important parameters discussed; some of them are only relevant at
specific times. For instance, selection of pavement type occurs at the design stage, and is not
considered again during construction or testing. On the other hand, smoothness may be
specified during design, but activities that affect the final product are only relevant during
construction and testing.

STRUCTURAL DESIGN
The DARWIN M-E™ mechanistic empirical pavement design method was developed in an effort
to improve the basic pavement design process. M-E design combines mechanistic principles
(stress/strain/deflection analysis and resulting damage accumulation) with local field
verification and calibration. The M-E procedure is considered to be a more scientifically based
approach than the 1993 AASHTO procedure, incorporating new aspects of pavement design
and performance prediction, and generally resulting in less conservative designs.

A benefit of M-E analysis is that it predicts specific distress types as a function of time or traffic.
Cracking, faulting, and changes in smoothness (based on the International Roughness Index)
are predicted based on calibrated distress models.

The M-E procedure is based on the accumulation of incremental damage, in which a load is
placed on the pavement at a critical location, the resulting stresses, strains and deflections are
calculated to estimate the damage resulting from the load. The distresses that accumulate in
the pavement as a function of time or traffic are then summed over the life of the pavement.
The main questions addressed in the process are discussed below.

What do we want?
All of the following are modeled to predict their state at the end of the selected design life. If
the results are unacceptable, then the variables that can be changed are adjusted and the
analysis is repeated until acceptable outputs in the following are achieved:
• Surface roughness, IRI.
• Cracking.
• Faulting.

pg. 9
What do we have to accommodate?
There are parameters that vary from location to location and cannot be changed due to their
nature, but must be addressed in the modeling:
• Expected traffic loading.
o Type of traffic (classes).
o Growth of traffic density with time.
• The climate in which the pavement is built.
• Water table depth.

What can we adjust?


These are some of the parameters that can be adjusted in the design process in order to
achieve the properties and performance required:
• Pavement type (JPCP or CRCP).
• Joint details (load transfer, spacing, sealant).
• Edge support (if any).
• Drainage.
• Layer properties.
o Concrete.
o Base layers.
o Subgrade.

The following sections discuss how each of these parameters will affect longevity and how they
can be addressed at the design, construction and testing stages, where relevant.

pg. 10
PAVEMENT TYPE
Two different concrete pavement design types are commonly used: jointed plain concrete
pavements (JPCP) or jointed reinforced concrete pavements (JRCP), and continuously
reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP).

Each of these design types can provide long-lasting pavements that meet or exceed specific
project requirements. Each type is suitable for new construction, reconstruction, and overlays
(resurfacing) of existing roads. The selection of which type is to be used is made at the design
stage.

JPCP
Because of their cost-effectiveness and reliability, the vast majority of concrete pavements
constructed today are JPCP designs (Figure 6). They do not contain reinforcement. They have
transverse joints spaced less than 15 to 20 ft apart. They may contain dowel bars across the
transverse joints to transfer traffic loads across slabs and may contain tiebars across
longitudinal contraction joints to promote aggregate interlock between slabs.

Figure 6 – Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement Before Paving

CRCP
CRCP designs have no transverse joints, but contain a significant amount of longitudinal
reinforcement, typically 0.6 to 0.8 percent of the cross-sectional area. Transverse reinforcement
is often used. The high content of reinforcement both influences the development of
transverse cracks within an acceptable spacing (3 to 8 ft apart) and serves to hold cracks tightly
together. Some agencies use CRCP designs for high-traffic, urban routes because of their
suitability for high-traffic loads.

pg. 11
FOUNDATION SYSTEM

Subgrade
The subgrade is the natural ground, graded and compacted, on which the pavement is built.
The quality of the subgrade will influence some of the design decisions, and if it is to be
modified by some treatment approach, then it is important that the modifications achieve the
intended purpose.

Due to its rigid nature, a concrete pavement distributes the pressure from applied loads over a
larger area of the supporting material. As a result, deflections are small and pressures on the
subgrade are low. Concrete pavements, therefore, do not require especially strong foundation
support. However, subgrade uniformity and stability affect both the long-term performance of
the pavement and the construction process. The subgrade should have a uniform condition,
with no abrupt changes in the degree of support and there should be no hard or soft spots.
Non-uniform support increases localized deflections and causes stress concentrations in the
pavement. Localized deflections and concentrated stresses can lead to premature failures,
fatigue cracking, faulting, pumping, rutting, and other types of pavement distress.

Requirements for subgrade preparation may vary considerably, depending on soil type,
environmental conditions, and amount of heavy traffic. Providing reasonably uniform support
conditions beneath the concrete slab requires controlling three major causes of subgrade non-
uniformity:
• Expansive soils,
• Frost action, and
• Pumping.

Preparation of the subgrade includes the following activities:


• Compacting soils at moisture contents and densities that will ensure uniform and stable
pavement support.
• Whenever possible, setting grade lines high enough and making side ditches deep
enough to increase the distance between the water table and the pavement. This will
include providing sufficient drainage to the system so that the concrete slab does not
become saturated.
• Cross-hauling and mixing soils to achieve uniform conditions in areas where there are
abrupt horizontal changes in soil types.
• Using selective grading in cut and fill areas to place the better soils nearer to the top of
the final subgrade elevation.
• Improving extremely poor soils by treating them with lime, cement, cement kiln dust, or
fly ash, or by importing better soils, whichever is more economical.

Base
A base layer may be needed on top of the prepared subgrade and immediately below the
concrete pavement to accommodate heavy traffic or poor-quality subgrades. The material
quality requirements for a base under concrete pavement are not as strict as those for a base
under asphalt pavement because the pressures imposed on a base under concrete are much
lower than those under asphalt.
pg. 12
For light traffic pavements, such as residential streets, secondary roads, parking lots, and light-
duty airports, the use of a base layer may not be required, and the desired results can be
obtained with proper subgrade preparation. Bases may be constructed of granular materials,
cement-treated materials, lean concrete, hot-mixed asphalt, or open-graded, highly-permeable
materials, which may be stabilized or unstabilized.

When the use of a base is considered appropriate, the best results are obtained by following
these guidelines:(4)
• Selecting base materials that meet minimum requirements for preventing pumping of
subgrade soils.
• Specifying grading controls that will ensure a reasonably constant base grading for
individual projects.
• Specifying a minimum base depth of 100 mm (4 in.).
• Specifying a minimum density for untreated bases of 105 percent of ASTM D 698 /
AASHTO T 99 for heavily traveled projects.

A cement-treated or lean concrete base provides a strong and uniform support for the
pavement and joints, provides an all-weather working platform, and contributes to smoother
pavements by giving firm support to the forms or paver during construction. However, this
system imposes added restraint to the concrete thus increasing the stresses due to thermal
and drying shrinkage, meaning that greater care has to be taken to prevent early age cracking.
Highly permeable bases may be unstable, but some ability to drain water penetrating the
joints is desirable.

P P

Unstabilized Granular Base Cement Treated Base

Figure 7 – Load Distribution of Unstabilized and Stabilized Bases

pg. 13
JOINTING
Concrete shrinks with decreasing temperature and moisture loss as it ages, stresses set up by
restraint of this movement will cause random cracking unless joints are cut in the concrete at
the appropriate time and spacing. Such cracking can lead to faulting and reduced durability of
the system.

In addition, curling and warping are vertical deflections in the slab due to differential
temperatures and moisture contents. The combination of traffic loading and slab weight on
curled and warped pavements will result in cracking, faulting, and reduced smoothness. The
magnitude of deflections and stresses are decreased with reduced panel size (e.g. joint
spacing).

Detailing joint layout is important in reducing the risk of random cracking. Mismatched joints,
slabs with a width / length ratio greater than 1.5, and embedded objects (manholes, inlets,
utility service accesses, etc.) without isolation joints should be avoided.(5)

Figure 8 – Example of Poor Joint Detailing

Joint Spacing
When transverse joints are too far apart, the concrete may still crack randomly at locations
other than the joints. The M-E design indicates that shorter joint spacing increases the
predicted life of a pavement, however there are increased costs associated with constructing
and maintaining more joints. An optimal joint spacing therefore exists for each specific project,
depending on the slab thickness, base stiffness, and concrete strength. Most state agencies
specify transverse contraction joints in plain (unreinforced) pavement at intervals between 15
and 20 ft.

Joint Depth
The design depth of saw cuts is the minimum depth required to create a properly functioning
joint to control cracking.(6) Cuts that are too shallow may not create an adequately weakened

pg. 14
plane, thereby allowing random cracks to occur. Cuts that are unnecessarily deep require
additional time and cost and reduce aggregate interlock.

In general, the depth of conventional saw cuts is one third to one quarter of the pavement
thickness. However, unless a State specifies otherwise, early-entry cuts can generally be
approximately 25 mm (1 in.) deep, regardless of pavement thickness. Because early-entry saw
cuts are made before the concrete has developed significant strength or stresses, this
shallower cut will generally create an effective plane of weakness where a crack should form.

Saw Timing
There is an optimum time to saw contraction joints in new concrete pavements. That time
occurs within the sawing window. The window is a short period after placement when the
concrete pavement can be cut to successfully control crack formation. The window begins
when concrete strength is sufficient for sawing without excessive raveling along the cut. The
sawing window ends just before random cracking starts to occur.

Sawing too early causes the saw blade to break or pull aggregate particles free from the
pavement surfaces along the cut. The resulting jagged, rough edges are termed raveling
(Figure 9). Some raveling is acceptable where a second saw cut would be made for a joint
sealant. If the raveling is too severe, it will affect the appearance and/or the ability to maintain
the joint.

Figure 9 – Excessive Joint Raveling

HIPERPAV® is a free software tool that can be used to assess the early age behavior of
concrete pavement. The software models early stress and early strength of the concrete
pavement, making it useful to evaluate the potential for uncontrolled cracking.

pg. 15
SMOOTHNESS
The smoothness of a concrete pavement is impacted by design, construction practice, concrete
materials, and environment. Pavement smoothness is the users’ primary measure of a
pavement’s performance, and it is therefore an important aspect in terms of quality. M-E
analysis estimates changes in smoothness as a function of time and traffic.

Several factors influence the smoothness of a pavement:(7)


• Specification
o Base should be wider (6’) than the pavement to allow for a stable paver trackline.
o Horizontal alignment, cross-slope and super-elevated curves can add to
roughness.
o Accurate grade and staking calculations are essential.
o Embedded reinforcement and fixtures negatively impact smoothness.
o Concrete mixture should slipform easily.
o Block-outs or leave-outs will add to roughness.
• Construction(4, 8)
o Base and trackline need to be stable and constructed to a tolerance (1/2” in 10’).
o Concrete uniformity from batch to batch.
o Keep the paver moving to minimize bumps.
o Set up fixed forms accurately (where relevant).
o Set and maintain the stringline so that it is taut and accurate.
o Keep a proper amount of concrete consistently in front of paver.
o Monitor vibrators.
o Adjust the paver’s profile pan and adjust staking interval for grades and curves.
o Securely anchor and place concrete on dowel assemblies in front of the paver or
use properly maintained and adjusted automatic dowel bar inserters (DBI).
o Check the surface behind the paver with the longest straightedge possible.
o Use cut-back headers.
o Educate and motivate the crew.

pg. 16
MIXTURE
Decisions regarding the mixture are made at all stages.

Mixture components
At its simplest, concrete is a mixture of glue (cement, water, and air) binding together fillers
(aggregate). However other materials, like supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) and
chemical admixtures, are added to the mixture. All these materials affect the way concrete
behaves in both its fresh and hardened states.

Cementitious Materials
Cementitious materials include portland cement and supplementary cementitious materials
such as fly ash and slag cement. SCMs contribute to the fresh and hardened properties of
concrete. Blended cements are a manufactured blend of portland cement and one or more
supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs).

It is important to test mixtures containing SCMs to ensure they are achieving the desired
results, to verify the correct dosage, and to detect any unintended effects. Changing an SCM
source, type, or even dosage will require new trial batches.

Aggregates
In general it is desirable that the aggregates have the following qualities:
• Well-graded mixtures require less water than mixtures with gap-graded aggregates,
have less shrinkage, are easier to handle and finish, and are usually more economical.
• Rough surface texture (for bond and interlock).
• Low absorption (reduces water requirement variability).
• Low alkali-aggregate reactivity (for reduced risk of deleterious alkali-silica reactivity and
alkali-carbonate reactivity).
• Frost resistant (for durability associated with D-cracking and popouts).
• Low coefficient of thermal expansion (for reduced cracking from volume change due to
changing temperatures).
• Abrasion resistant (for durability and skid resistance).
• Free of dust and clay contaminants.

Water
Mixing water can consist of batch water, ice, free moisture on aggregates, water in admixtures,
and water added after initial mixing. Some water recycled from returned concrete and plant
washing may be allowed by specification.

Potable water is generally acceptable for use in concrete but questionable mixing water from
untreated sources should be tested for its effect on concrete strength and setting time.

Chemical Admixtures
Admixtures are materials added to concrete mixtures to modify concrete properties such as air
content, water requirement, workability and setting time. Admixtures should complement, not
substitute for, good concrete proportioning and practice. Admixtures may have unintended
side effects. Therefore, run trial batches with job materials and under job conditions to verify
pg. 17
admixture compatibility. Dosages of admixture will likely have to be varied through the day as
moisture content of the aggregates varies and the weather changes.

Properties
There are a number of critical properties of concrete that impact pavement longevity. Some
properties, like workability, are manifested only in the fresh or plastic stage of concrete. Others,
like frost resistance, are most important in the hardened concrete. Still others, like strength
gain, begin early in the hydration process, remain critical during the first few days, and play a
role in concrete for many months or even years. In general, the contractor is concerned about
the fresh properties (how easy it is to get the concrete in place), and the owner is concerned
about the long-term hardened properties (how long it will last).

Uniformity
The goal is to make uniform concrete, in order to prevent problems at the paver (Figure 10)
and in the final pavement, this is necessary even though the materials used to make the
concrete may be variable. Material properties must be monitored regularly and proportions
adjusted accordingly. A non-uniform concrete mixture causes frequent adjustments in the
construction process and leads to variable pavement performance. Providing a uniform
concrete mixture is critical to constructing a quality concrete pavement.

Figure 10 – Non-uniform Concrete Leads to Paving Issues

Workability
Workability is an indication of the ease with which concrete can be constructed. Good
workability means that the concrete mixture can be readily consolidated and finished.
Workability requirements vary by placement method (e.g. machine or hand). Therefore the
concrete mixture should be proportioned and produced with workability properties that
accommodate the method of placement.

Changes in workability indicate that the raw materials, proportions, or the environment are
changing. If workability changes, the causes should be investigated early, as it is likely that this

pg. 18
is a symptom of a significant change in the mixture that will affect other properties directly
related to pavement longevity.

Water should not be added to a concrete mixture to adjust workability or finishing properties
unless this can be done without exceeding the water-cementitious materials ratio of the
mixture design.

Strength development
Concrete strength is often used to measure concrete quality, although this can be a false
assumption as other properties such as: low air content, poor consolidation, random cracking,
high permeability, etc. may not be directly related to strength.

Sufficient concrete strength is needed to carry the loads and many specifications will limit the
minimum strength required based on the design. The primary factor controlling strength is the
w/cm ratio, although strength increases with a decreasing w/cm ratio. Strength gain is
accelerated at higher temperatures and decelerated at lower temperatures, and strength
decreases as air content increases.

Strength is measured in compression or in flexure (bending). Early strength can also be


assessed in the field using maturity (time and temperature) measurements. For more
information on implementing maturity measurements for concrete paving, consult the
following FHWA Tech Brief - Maturity Testing for Concrete Pavement Applications, November
2005; available for download at:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/pccp/pubs/06004/06004.pdf

Shrinkage
Concrete shrinkage occurs due mainly to cooling and drying, although three other shrinkage
mechanisms also play a role. It starts soon after mixing and continues for a number of days
and can contribute to random cracking in slabs. Shrinkage primarily increases with increasing
water (paste) content in the concrete, meaning that increasing amounts of cementitious
materials and water in the mixture may increase cracking risk.

Shrinkage cracking is also tied to the weather at the time of placement:


• Placing concrete in the morning so that the temperature at time of setting is high,
increases the potential stresses due to large reductions in ambient temperature at night.
• Cooling the concrete at the time of placement will reduce the peak temperature.
• Covering the concrete when cold fronts are approaching will protect the concrete from
large differentials.
• Providing adequate curing early on will reduce the effects of drying shrinkage.
• Use of an evaporation retarder may help in reducing the risk of plastic shrinkage
cracking (NOTE:, evaporation retarders are not to be used as finishing aids).
• Use of SCMs in hot weather to both reduce and delay the early age peak temperature.

Permeability
Concrete durability is enhanced by improving concrete’s ability to prevent aggressive fluids
from penetrating the concrete, that is, by reducing concrete permeability as discussed below.
Permeability is reduced by:

pg. 19
• Reducing cracking.
• Reducing the number of connected pores in the paste system by:
o Reducing the w/cm.
o Use of appropriate amounts of supplementary cementitious materials.
o Allowing hydration to continue for as long as possible, i.e. curing.

Permeability and strength are not synonymous.

Potential Durability
Durability is the ability of the concrete to survive the environment to which it is exposed, which
will vary from region to region depending on weather and soils, among other things. Potential
durability of the concrete is implicit in the DARWIN M-E™ design method, but few details are
provided on how to achieve it. Some decisions that will impact durability have to be made at
the design stage such as requiring measures to address local materials or weather related
factors. Likewise the quality of the concrete mixture in terms of the ingredients, proportions
and workmanship will have a strong influence on the lifetime of the pavement. The most
common issues to be addressed are:
• Cold weather.
• Alkali silica reaction.

Cold Weather
Frost resistance is a concrete’s ability to resist damage during winter weather conditions.
Concrete that is exposed to cold weather can experience several kinds of damage including:
• Freeze-thaw damage,
• Salt scaling,
• D-cracking, and
• Popouts.

Freeze-thaw damage is due to the expansion of water in the capillaries as it freezes, causing
cracking that can be as deep as several inches into the concrete. Cycles of freezing and
thawing can eventually cause severe surface loss. Deicing salts can aggravate freeze-thaw
damage and cause cracking, scaling, and disintegration.

Concrete’s ability to resist freeze-thaw damage may be enhanced by entraining a number of


small, closely spaced air bubbles in the paste. The air voids provide space for freezing,
expanding water in the pores to move into, thus relieving the pressure. It is generally accepted
that a spacing factor of 0.008 in. or less will be adequate to protect concrete. Increasing the
total air content will reduce the spacing factor, which is why many specifications place a limit
on the minimum amount of air in a mixture. For a given air content, small, closely spaced air
voids provide better protection than larger, more distant voids. For equal protection, larger
bubbles would require a larger volume of air. This is undesirable, since an increase in air
content can result in a decrease in strength.

Over-finishing should be avoided because it may cause loss of air at the surface. In addition,
working bleed water or evaporation retarders (which contain a high amount of water) into
concrete weakens the top surface and can cause a crust to form with water accumulation
underneath, which could easily scale off.
pg. 20
When aggregates with a critical pore size are saturated, they expand and fracture when the
water freezes, causing D-cracking and/or popouts. In areas where D-cracking in pavements is
known to be a problem, a smaller maximum size aggregate may help mitigate the problem.
Testing at the reduced maximum size is advisable.

Alkali-Silica Reaction
Alkali-silica reaction (ASR) is a harmful condition in concrete resulting from a chemical reaction
between some aggregate minerals and the high alkaline (pH) pore solutions found in concrete.
Over time, the product of these chemical reactions, ASR gel, can absorb water and expand,
leading to concrete cracking and reduced service life. The amount of gel formed in the
concrete depends on the amount and type of silica in the aggregate and the alkali hydroxide
concentration in the concrete pore solution.

For ASR to occur, three conditions must be present:


• Reactive forms of silica in the aggregate,
• High-alkali (pH) pore solution (water in the paste pores), and
• Sufficient moisture.

If any one of these conditions is absent, ASR gel cannot form and deleterious expansion from
ASR cannot occur. Therefore, the best way to avoid ASR is through good mixture design and
materials selection.

It is important to design mixtures specifically to control ASR, preferably using locally available
materials. Use nonreactive aggregates, if possible, or a combination of nonreactive and
reactive aggregate. If reactive aggregate is unavoidable, use supplementary cementitious
materials or blended cements proven by testing to control ASR or limit the alkali content of
the concrete. When applicable, different amounts of pozzolan or slag should be tested to
determine the optimum dosage. Too low a dosage of fly ash may exacerbate the problem.
Low-calcium (typically Class F) fly ashes are generally better at mitigating ASR than high-
calcium (typically Class C) fly ashes. Ground, granulated blast-furnace slag and natural
pozzolans are also effective in mitigating ASR when used in the proper dosages.

Lithium compounds may also be useful in reducing or preventing expansion. Typically, a


solution of lithium-bearing compound (usually lithium nitrate) is added when batching
concrete.

pg. 21
Mixture Design and Proportioning

Mixture design is the process of determining required and specifiable properties of a concrete
mixture, normally conducted by the designer / specifier to allow for local conditions. Factors
considered will include the intended use, geometry, and exposure conditions. The following
are three factors to be addressed in concrete mixture design:
• Strength,
• Durability, and
• Economy.

Some aspects of the design may belong with the contractor, such as choosing workability for
the placing equipment to be used, and the placement conditions.

Mixture proportioning considers how the desired and specified properties of the concrete
can be achieved by optimized selection of concrete ingredients. Proportioning may be initially
determined using numerical approaches, but it is critical that trial batches be made using job-
specific materials. It is advisable that trials also be conducted at the likely placement
temperatures to ensure that the mixture is likely to perform satisfactorily at construction stage,
and that potential problems are flagged early on. At this stage, the mixture can be assessed for
compliance with all requirements of the specification. It is also advisable that alternate
mixtures be assessed, such as with alternate supplies of materials, so that delays are not
incurred if problems arise during construction requiring a change in proportions.

Critical parameters to observe in mixture proportions are:


• w/cm should be between 0.38 and 0.42 for slipform pavements as this is the primary
parameter that controls hardened mixture performance.
• Combined aggregate gradation should fall within Zone 2 of the Coarseness Factor and
Workability Chart (Refer to ACI 302.1R-04 for detailed guidance)(Figure 11 from
COMPASS Software).

Figure 11 – Example Coarseness and Workability Factor Chart

pg. 22
• SCM dosage should be high enough to address durability concerns but not so high to
cause setting and cracking problems.
• Paste content should be sufficient to fill all the voids between the aggregate particles
and to provide adequate workability to the mixture.

Trials using the full-scale batch and handling plant are recommended because mixtures will
perform differently depending on the size and type of mixing in the batch. However some
contractors use a small trial batcher (9 ft3) to perform mix trials (especially for mobile projects).
If done properly they can be an effective way to perform trials. If trials are performed with
small trial mixers a trial run of the plant prior to the start of operations should be performed to
make sure the plant is operating properly.

Mixture Verification
Just before paving, the mixture designs should be verified in the field (unless there is
experience with a similar mixture). This process is necessary to ensure that the materials and
the final mixture are substantially the same as those that were used during the laboratory trials.

The following questions should be considered when verifying laboratory mixtures in the field:
• Are the fresh properties acceptable for the type of equipment and systems being used?
• Are there signs of incompatibilities?
• Are the flexural or compressive strengths from the field mixture comparable to those
from the laboratory mixture (±250 lb/in2)?

Field trials are also a preferred practice when portable plants are used. The batching process,
including mix time, should be the same as that to be used during paving operations.

Workability of the field trial batches should be tested immediately after batching and at a later
time to simulate the transportation time. Field trial batches should be repeated until the
desired workability after the estimated time in transport is achieved and then tested.

Workability and air content can be manipulated during the batching process in the field by
varying chemical admixture dosages.

pg. 23
ACCEPTANCE TESTING
Acceptance is based on testing. When any result is reported, the following need to be
considered:
• Is the right method being used?
• Was the test conducted properly?
• Are specification tolerances realistic with respect to inherent testing variability?
• What are the consequences of failure?
• What is the potential error in the test?
• What actions are required?

TEST METHODS
Not every parameter can be examined by a standardized test. For instance timing of saw
cutting is as much of an art as anything else – it depends on the weather, the mixture and the
experience of the saw operator. However, failure is readily observed in random cracking.

Following is a listing of appropriate test methods and suggested acceptance limits.

Foundations - Subgrade/Subbase Construction

Subgrade Soils
• Procedures such as ASTM D 1883, ASTM D 3152, ASTM D 4546, ASTM D 4829, and
CALTRANS Test 354 are suitable for evaluating the volume change of subgrade soils
(Figure 12).(9)

Data from Index Tests *


Estimate of
Probable
Colloid Expansion **
Content (% (% total vol.
Plasticity Shrinkage finer than change)
Degree of Index (%) Limit (%) 0.001 mm) (dry to sat.
Expansion (ASTM D 4318) (ASTM D 427) (ASTM D 422) condition)
Very High >35 <11 >28 >30
High 25 to 41 7 to 12 20 to 31 20 to 30
Medium 15 to 28 10 to 16 13 to 23 10 to 20
Low <18 >15 <15 <10
* All three index tests should be considered in estimating expansive properties
** Based on a vertical loading of 1 lb/in2, for higher loadings the amount of expansion is
reduced, depending on the load and the clay characteristics
Figure 12 – Tests for Expansive Soils

pg. 24
Unstabilized Bases
• Limit the amount of fines passing a 75-μm (#200) sieve.
• Aggregates having less than 50 percent loss in the Los Angeles abrasion test (ASTM C
131 / AASHTO T 96) are satisfactory.
• Minimum of 100 percent of ASTM D 698 / AASHTO T 99 density. For projects that will
carry large volumes of heavy traffic, the specified density should not be less than 105
percent of standard density or 98 to 100 percent of ASTM D 1557 / AASHTO T 180
density.
• To permit accurate grading of the base, the maximum size of material is usually limited
to 1” and preferably to ¾”.

Stabilized Bases
• Granular materials in AASHTO Soil Classification Groups A-1, A-2-4, A-2-5, and A-3 are
used for cement-treated bases. They should:
o Contain no more than 35 percent passing the 75-μm (#200) sieve.
o Have a PI of 10 or less.
o May be either pit-run or manufactured.
• Cement-treated bases have been built with A-4 and A-5 soils in some non-frost areas
and are performing satisfactorily. Generally such soils are not recommended for bases in
frost areas or where large volumes of heavy truck traffic are expected.
• Use of A-6 and A-7 soils is not recommended.

Concrete Materials

Cementitious Materials
• Cements should comply with ASTM C 150 / AASHTO M 85 Type I, II or V, ASTM C 595 /
AASHTO M 240, or ASTM C 1157 Type GU, HE, MS or MH.
• Fly ash and slag cement are specified in ASTM C 618 / AASHTO M 295 and ASTM C 989 /
AASHTO M 302 respectively.

Aggregates
• Individual aggregate gradation should comply with ASTM C 33/ AASHTO M 6 at a
minimum.
• Combined gradation of the system should be in Zone II of the coarseness factor and
workability chart.
• Aggregate moisture content should be regularly tested in accordance with ASTM C 566.
Mixture proportions should be adjusted at the plant for the actual aggregate moisture
content.
• Other requirements of the aggregate are addressed in ASTM C 33/ AASHTO M 6
• ASR reactivity is addressed in AASHTO PP 65.
• Abrasion resistance is usually measured using the Los Angeles (LA) abrasion test
method (ASTM C 535 and ASTM C 131).
• D-Cracking potential can be assessed by conducting the procedure in ASTM C 1646.

pg. 25
Water
• If the quality of water is a concern, it can be assessed by evaluating it using the method
in ASTM C 1602.

Chemical Admixtures
• Air entraining admixtures must comply with the requirements of ASTM C 260.
• All other admixtures are specified by ASTM C 494 / AASHTO M 194.

Mixture

Uniformity
• ASTM C 94 / AASHTO M 157 set out the requirements for monitoring and accepting the
uniformity of concrete.
• Unit weight testing (ASTM C 138) is likely the best method for monitoring batch-to-
batch uniformity.
• Microwave water content testing (AASHTO T 318) is also an excellent indicator of batch-
to-batch uniformity.

Workability
• Slump: ASTM C 143 / AASHTO T 119 is the most commonly specified measure of
workability. Typically, a range between 1 and 2 inches is satisfactory for slipform paving.
• Consideration may be given to allowing the contractor to select the slump required for
their equipment, then using the test as a uniformity measure. This may be preferable to
specifying a fixed range that may not be appropriate for the circumstances.

Strength
• Strength is normally specified in terms of flexural or compressive requirements.
• The value specified will depend on the design, but typical minimum values are about
650 psi flexural and 4000 psi compressive.
• Statistical approaches are often used for acceptance and PWL calculations.
• Before the pavement is opened to traffic, a minimum flexural strength of 450 psi is
recommended.
• Testing should be in accordance with the following specifications:
o ASTM C 39 / AASHTO T 22 for compressive strength.
o ASTM C 78 / AASHTO T 97 for flexural strength using third-point loading.
o ASTM C 293 / AASHTO T 177 for flexural strength using center-point loading.
o ASTM C 496 / AASHTO T 198 for splitting tensile strength.
• Maturity approaches may be used in accordance with ASTM C 918 or 1074.

Shrinkage
• ASTM C 157 / AASHTO T 160 are commonly used to determine length change in
unrestrained concrete due to drying shrinkage.
• Any specification based on ASTM C 157 must include the specimen size.
• The standard procedure is to take an initial length measurement at 24 hours. The
specimens are then stored in lime-saturated water for 27 days, when another length

pg. 26
measurement is taken. All specimens are then stored in air at a constant temperature
until 64 weeks.
• Since most projects cannot wait 64 weeks, an alternative set of initial reading, drying
age, and final reading age are sometimes specified.
• This test should only be applied at the mixture design stage and not used as a regular
acceptance tool.

Permeability
• The so-called “rapid chloride” test (ASTM C 1202 / AASHTO T 277) is currently the most
commonly used “permeability” measurement. The test does not measure permeability
directly but measures conductivity, which is a surrogate test for permeability. It is
primarily intended for use in reinforced elements. The data can be used for comparison
purposes between concrete mixtures.
o While intended for use at the design stage, numerous authorities are using the
test for acceptance purposes.
o A minimum value of 1500 coulombs at 56 days is considered an indicator of
more than adequate performance for pavements.
o The Wenner resistivity device (Figure 13) is rapidly growing in acceptance as an
alternative to ASTM C 1202/AASHTO T 277 for quality control and acceptance
purposes.
• ASTM C 1585 determines the capillary absorption of concrete and offers a useful tool for
assessing the relative performance of different concrete systems.

Figure 13 – Wenner Probe for Testing Surface Resistivity

Frost Resistance
• Air content is measured using:
o ASTM C 231 / AASHTO T 152 pressure method in fresh concrete (Figure 14).
o ASTM C 173 / AASHTO T 196 volumetric method in fresh concrete used for
absorptive aggregates.

pg. 27
Figure 14 – Pressure Air Content Testing Device

• Air-void system can be assessed using:


o ASTM C 457 for hardened concrete.
o A minimum of 5% air behind the paver, or a spacing factor less than 0.008 in. is
strongly recommended.
• Freeze-thaw resistance is assessed using ASTM C 666 during design stage.
o Acceptance values typically range between a minimum relative dynamic modulus
of elasticity of 70% and 90%.
• Salt scaling is assessed using ASTM C 672 at design stage.
o A minimum visual rating of 3 or 4 is recommended.
o Some states also monitor the mass loss of the samples and require a value of less
than 0.3 lb/ft2 after 50 cycles.

Thickness
Pavement thickness can be assessed using the following techniques:
• Probing behind the paver is a useful means of quality control (Figure 15).
• Coring the hardened concrete is often used for acceptance purposes. It is recommended
that close attention be paid to ensuring that the pavement is not too thin because this
will significantly reduce the life of the concrete.
• Non-destructive approaches are available. One such device requires that a steel plate be
anchored on the base in front of the paver leading to good a correlation with core data.

pg. 28
Figure 15 – Thickness Probing Behind the Paver

Smoothness

The hardened pavement surface should be tested with a lightweight profiler (Figure 16), high
speed inertial profiler, California Profilograph, or a straightedge for hand placements.

Figure 16 – Lightweight Inertial Profiler for Smoothness Testing

pg. 29
Tolerances and Action Limits

All test methods have some variability, meaning that the probability of accepting bad
pavement and rejecting good pavement is unavoidable. This risk can be reduced if the testing
is conducted by trained and certified staff (ASTM C 1077) operating calibrated equipment in
compliance with the method.

Interpretation of the data may take engineering judgment. If a failure is reported, decisions
need to be made regarding:
• Should a truck be rejected?
• Should the job be stopped until the cause is determined?
• Should there be a financial penalty imposed?
• Should the pavement be removed?

Answers to these will depend on:


• The reliability of the data,
• The consequences of the failure, and
• The amount of pavement affected.

Many states impose “Action” and “Stop” limits. If a result crosses an action limit, work is
allowed to proceed but the cause of the variation must be determined and corrected. If the
trend continues and the “Stop” limit is crossed, then the pavement is rejected and work must
stop until corrective actions are implemented.

Incentives / Disincentives
Many specifications use incentives and disincentives to reward good work and to provide a
financial edge to quality contractors. The subtlety behind this approach is that with any
incentive scheme, there is a high probability that there will be unintended consequences. It is
important that when this approach is adopted, the parameters that are indeed critical to the
owner are those that are incentivized.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER


Critical parameters for concrete longevity are:
• Thickness.
• Durability.
• Smoothness.
• Strength.

These apply at every point on the pavement, and this is what we are trying to achieve. No one
factor is more important than another.

Inspection involves a thorough understanding of the system, what really affects it and how
much. This must be combined with a large dose of common sense and engineering judgment,
gained through training and experience.

pg. 30
3. Quality Assurance for Concrete Pavements
The recommendations given in this document regarding the construction of a high quality
concrete pavement are based on the premise that quality assurance is the umbrella covering
all aspects of the construction process. Therefore, the steps (processes) involved in the
construction of a concrete pavement are presented in a uniform format that provides both
contractor and agency guidelines for constructing, inspecting and measuring (testing) the
construction process. The construction steps are presented in temporal order and include the
following information:
• Description,
• Key inspection items to encourage successful practices and to identify deficiencies,
• Quality control measurements, and
• Checklists.

Note: QC measurements are listed for each construction process. For


detailed guidance regarding what test procedures should be applied and
how results should be interpreted, refer to the Testing Guide for
Implementing Concrete Paving Quality Control Procedures.

These recommendations for quality assurance are intended to supplement contractual


specifications, not replace them. When conflicts occur between these suggested practices and
the specifications, the contract provisions should be followed. Roles and responsibilities have
been intentionally omitted from these recommendations for the following reasons:
• Quality assurance should not be viewed as an “Us vs. Them” scenario; rather all parties
should be working together towards a common goal.
• The term inspection is generic. Both the contractor and agency should be performing
visual “inspections” of key items that influence performance, yet these are not easily
measured.
• These roles are defined by contract, and change depending upon contract terms (i.e.
some states allow acceptance testing by the contractor).

Following are the construction steps included in this field guide:

Section 4. Pre-Paving
A. Subgrade/Subbase Construction.
B. Staking and Stringline.
C. Fine Grading.
D. Dowel Basket Placement.
E. Reinforcing Steel Placement (CRCP).
F. Paver Preparation.

Section 5. Plant Site and Mixture Production


A. Aggregate Stockpile Management.
B. Plant Set-Up and Calibration.
C. Mixture Production.
D. Transporting Concrete.
pg. 31
Section 6. Placement, Finishing, Texturing, Curing and Sawing
A. Spreading Concrete.
B. Slipforming.
C. Insertion of Dowels and/or Tie Bars.
D. Hand Finishing.
E. Texturing.
F. Curing.
G. Sawing.
H. Weather Adjustments.

pg. 32
4. Pre-Paving
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pg. 33
SUBGRADE/SUBBASE CONSTRUCTION
Description:
Subgrade is the soil prepared and compacted to support a pavement system. Subgrades soils
may be chemically modified to control expansion and/or improve strength.

A subbase is a layer in the pavement system which lies above the subgrade and below the
portland cement concrete pavement (Figure 17). Categories of subbase layers include:
• Granular – compacted crushed aggregate or gravel.
• Stabilized – portland cement or bituminous stabilized aggregate.
• Drainable – unbound aggregate and portland cement or bituminous bound aggregate.

Figure 17 – Illustration of Subgrade, Subbase and Pavement Layers

The subgrade and subbase system should provide uniform support and drainage (where
required) for the PCCP and serve as a working platform for placing the PCCP (Figure 18). Non-
uniformity can lead to stress concentrations in the PCCP, which may lead to premature failure.

Stress
Concentration
Concrete
Pavement

Stiff Sugrade (5x) Soft Subgrade


Stiff Subgrade Soft Subgrade Stiff Subgrade

Figure 18 – Non-uniform Subgrade Leads to Stress Concentrations in the Concrete Pavement

pg. 34
Subgrade Key Inspection Items:
• Visually monitor for changes in soil type and moisture content.
• Identify non-uniformity and instability – repair subgrade/subbase failures before paving
(Figures 19 and 20).

Figure 19 – Identify Subgrade/Subbase Failures

Figure 20 – Subgrade/Subbase Failures Must Be Repaired to Achieve Uniform Support

pg. 35
Subgrade Quality Control Measurements:
• Moisture and density – AASHTO T 310; recommended frequency of 1 test per 2,000 SY.
• Intelligent compaction systems – continuous measurement.

Checklist
Natural Subgrade
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Proctor densities and optimum moisture contents correspond to

soil type(s) found in the field
2. Establish a rolling pattern and verify desired objectives are achieved

with QC measurements (moisture and density)
3. Proof roll or use intelligent compaction methods to identify non-

uniformity
4. Remediate areas identified by proof rolling or intelligent

compaction

Chemically Modified Subgrade


 When Complete
No. Item
1. Proctor densities and optimum moisture contents correspond to

soil type(s) found in the field
2. Calculate spread rate (lb/sy) for modifying material 
3. Verify spread rate for each truckload of modifying material 
4. Establish a rolling pattern and verify desired objectives are achieved

with QC measurements (moisture and density)
5. Verify thickness 
6. Proof roll or use intelligent compaction methods to identify non-

uniformity
7. Remediate areas identified by proof rolling or intelligent

compaction

pg. 36
Subbase Key Inspection Items
• Visually monitor for segregation and changes in moisture content (Figure 21).
• Monitor lift thickness when appropriate.
• Drainable subbases should be protected from infiltration of fines which can reduce
drainage capacity.
• Identify non-uniformity and instability.

Figure 21 – Visually Inspect Granular Subbase for Segregation

Subbase Quality Control Measurements:


• Moisture and density – AASHTO T 310; recommended frequency of 1 test per 2,000 SY
• Intelligent compaction systems – continuous measurement.
• Gradation – AASHTO T 27; recommended frequency of 1 test per 8,000 SY.
• Thickness – Rod/Level/Grade Stake for unstabilized and coring for stabilized;
recommended frequency of 1 test per 8,000 SY.
• Strength for lean concrete subbase – AASHTO T 22; recommended frequency of 1 test
per 4,000 SY.
• Grade tolerance – verify during production with respect to grade stakes; recommended
frequency of 1 check per 100 lineal foot.
• On projects using automatic machine controls (e.g. gps, laser, etc.), grade tolerance
should be checked at least every 100 lineal foot.

pg. 37
Checklist
Granular Subbase
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Proctor densities and optimum moisture contents correspond to

delivered aggregate materials
2. Establish a rolling pattern and verify desired objectives are achieved

with QC measurements (moisture and density)
3. Verify spreading techniques do not contribute to segregation 
4. Proof roll or use intelligent compaction methods to identify non-

uniformity
5. Remediate areas identified by proof rolling or intelligent

compaction
Stabilized Subbase (Cement Treated Aggregate or Asphalt)
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Mixtures conform to JMF 
2. Placement, consolidation and finishing operations produce a

uniform non-segregated product
3. Controls in place to meet minimum thickness and smoothness

tolerances
4. Establish a rolling pattern and verify desired objectives are achieved

with QC measurements (moisture and density)
5. Verify thickness 
6. Proof roll or use intelligent compaction methods to identify non-

uniformity
7. Remediate areas identified by proof rolling or intelligent

compaction

Drainable Subbase
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Mixtures conform to JMF 
2. Placement, consolidation and finishing operations produce a

uniform non-segregated product
3. Controls in place to meet minimum thickness and smoothness

tolerances
4. Protection from infiltration of fine materials 
5. Verify thickness 

Lean Concrete – refer to checklists for concrete paving

pg. 38
STAKING AND STRINGLINE OR STRINGLESS
Description
Construction staking is the process of placing reference hubs for alignment and elevation of
the finished pavement (Figure 22). Stringline set from these reference hubs controls the
steering and elevation of fine grade trimmers and pavers. These processes have a direct impact
on the thickness and smoothness of the subbase and concrete pavement.

Figure 22 – Surveyed Reference Hub and Stringline

It is critical that the contractor and surveyor clearly communicate, agree and verify that the
offset and grade will achieve the desired result. Paving hubs should be set at an offset that will
minimize disturbance from and to the construction processes. The contractor should specify
whether grades are to be flat or projected. A projected grade corresponds to a theoretical
elevation extended (projected) from the pavement grade, to the paving hub.

Stringless controls (GPS, laser or combinations) are available for fine grading and paving
equipment (Figure 23). The models (data) used for stringless machine control should be
prepared in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and independently checked
for accuracy.

pg. 39
Figure 23 – Stringless Paving Using a Robotic Laser and Radio Communication

Key Inspection Items


• Spot check paving hubs and grades for accuracy by checking against a known
benchmark.
• Visually inspect stringline for abrupt changes and/or discontinuities.
• Check that pins and wands are solid and resistant to moving.
• Depending upon the offset used, subgrade and subbase that has pumped may move
the paving hub from its surveyed elevation and alignment. Correct the
subgrade/subbase and re-survey.

Quality Control Measurements


• Random survey check of paving hubs.
• Random check of stringline elevation and alignment relative to paving hub information
(not applicable to string which has been eyeball adjusted for smoothness).

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Verify that the surveyor has provided the correct grades for the

requested offset and grade type (projected or level)
2. Pins are placed at appropriate intervals (25’or less in tangent

sections, closer spacing through tight curves)
3. Wands are adjusted for alignment (stringline should be directly

above the hub)
4. Stringline is set to the correct elevation with respect to the hub 
5. Stringline is uniformly taut 
6. Stringline is marked for visibility to prevent accidental bumping 

pg. 40
FINE GRADING
Description
Finishing the subgrade and subbase to their final shape (cross-slope) and elevation is critical to
obtaining the desired thickness and smoothness in the concrete pavement. Fine grading can
be performed with trimmers (Figure 24) and/or motor graders. Automatic machine control
(stringline or stringless) is necessary to fine grade subgrade/subbase layers to tolerances which
will allow for construction of smooth concrete pavements with uniform thickness.

Figure 24 – Fine Grading with a Trimmer

Fine grading subgrade and subbase(s) literally sets the foundation for controlling the thickness
and smoothness of the concrete pavement. While smooth pavements can be constructed on
subbases that are not fine graded to tight tolerances, doing so will result in non-uniform
thickness of the concrete pavement. This will result in a pavement that is thinner than desired
(reduced performance) or thicker than desired (contractor profits are diminished) or most likely
a combination of both scenarios.

Key Inspection Items


• Check the finished grade – subgrade or subbase should be ±0.02’ from plan elevation.
• Blend and compact trimmed material into low spots uniformly – fine materials that are
trimmed from high spots should be re-used in a manner which does not result in
segregated pockets of granular materials.

pg. 41
• Visually identify areas of segregation in granular subbases – re-blend materials and re-
compact.

Quality Control Measurements


• Measure, log and analyze grade tolerance at 50’ intervals (3 to 5 places across the width
of the roadway) – correct highs and lows.
• Check subbase thickness at 50’ intervals in three locations across the width of the layer.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Maintain the moisture in subgrade and subbase during fine grade

operations and until the next layer is placed
2. Re-use trimmings in a manner which does not result in segregated

pockets of granular material
3. Stringline or stringless model is set to correct alignment and

elevation

pg. 42
DOWEL BASKET PLACEMENT
Description
Dowels are placed in concrete pavements when truck traffic is anticipated. The purpose of the
dowels is to transfer loads between slabs, thus reducing the maximum stress induced by truck
loading. In order for dowels to efficiently transfer the loads, they must be:
• Aligned perpendicular to the transverse joint (*).
• Aligned parallel to the pavement surface (*).
• Embedded on both sides of the joint (minimum 3” embedment)(**).
• Placed vertically within tolerance (minimum 2” cover)(**).

(*) Rotational misalignment less than 3% of dowel length, NCHRP Synthesis 56 and ACPA 1998.
(**) Guide to Dowel Load Transfer Systems for Jointed Concrete Roadway Pavements, Snyder,
2011.

Dowel baskets are anchored in subgrade or untreated subbases using stakes. Anchoring in
treated subbases is accomplished using clips which are held in place using nails that are
installed using a powder actuated charge. Proper anchoring is just one consideration. For
dowels to be effective, the sawed joints must be placed over the pre-placed bars. Therefore,
the dowel basket location needs to be adequately marked on both sides of the pavement to
ensure sawing the joint in the correct place (Figure 25). Dowel baskets must also be placed at
the correct offset from the edge of the pavement. Baskets that are located too near the edge
of the pavement are prone to be hit by spreading and paving equipment.

Figure 25 – Positive Marking of Dowel Basket Location for Sawing Joints

pg. 43
Key Inspection Items
• Check transverse spacing and offset from the edge of pavement.
• Visually inspect for alignment – correct misaligned bars.
• Verify that basket locations are marked on both sides of the pavement.
• Baskets should be anchored so that the stake is on the downstream side of the basket
frame.
• Check the stability of the baskets – are they anchored adequately to withstand the force
of a slipform paver pushing concrete over them?

Quality Control Measurements


• None during pre-paving, however the embedment and cover of bars should be verified
by probing behind the paver at 300’ intervals (at least 1 bar for each basket across the
width of the slab should be located)(Figure 26).

Figure 26 – Probing for Dowel Locations

• Non-destructive devices such as ground penetrating radar, MIT Scan (Figure 27) or
pachometer (cover meter) can be used to evaluate dowel/joint placement. It should be
noted that the MIT Scan device will not operate properly unless the shipping wires on
the baskets are cut.

pg. 44
Figure 27 – MIT Scan used to Locate Dowels

pg. 45
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Correct dowel dimensions (diameter and length) 
2. Basket height is appropriate for the pavement thickness 
3. Bar spacing is as specified 
4. Bar coating is as specified and not unduly damaged 
5. Bond breaker is adequate 
6. Verify that the dowel location is marked adequately on both sides

of the slab to ensure proper joint sawing

pg. 46
STEEL PLACEMENT (CRCP)
Description
Continuously reinforced concrete pavements use steel reinforcing bars throughout the length
of the pavement. Transverse joints are not necessary for CRCPs, the steel is designed to hold
the cracks tight and promote aggregate interlock across the crack. The bar size and spacing is
determined through the design process, bars should be placed within the specified tolerances.

In the past, some CRCPs have been constructed using tube feeders for the longitudinal steel;
this practice is no longer recommended or allowed in most states because the steel was not
maintained at mid-slab depth. Bars should be placed on supports which hold the steel at the
correct height (Figure 28). Attention should be paid to the offset between the outside bars and
the edge of pavement, spreading and concrete equipment can hit bars which are placed too
close to the edge of pavement.

Figure 28 – Properly Supported Reinforcing Steel

Key Inspection Items


• Check bar spacing and offset from the edge of pavement.
• Laps should be staggered (Figure 29).

pg. 47
Figure 29 – Staggered Laps for Longitudinal Reinforcing Bars

• Periodically anchor the mat using a bar driven into the subgrade, this will help to
prevent the entire mat falling off the supports if the outside bars are caught by the
spreader or paver.
• Check the stability of the bar mat – is it tied and supported adequately to withstand the
force of concrete spreader dumping concrete on it and a slipform paver pushing
concrete over it?
• Transverse construction joints are heavily reinforced. Ensure that the concrete is
adequately consolidated.

Quality Control Measurements


• None during pre-paving, however the steel location should be verified by probing
behind the paver at 300’ intervals.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Correct steel diameter and grade 
2. Correct bar support height for the thickness of concrete pavement 
3. Adequate supply of bar supports and tie wire 
4. Proper consolidation at headers 

pg. 48
PAVER PREPARATION
Description
Slipform pavers are complex machines (Figure 30). Each paver should be maintained and
adjusted according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Figure 30 – Schematic of a Slipform Paver

There are a few basic guidelines which are applicable to all pavers, these include:
• Clean the paver – remove dried concrete that could come loose during paving.
• Fix hydraulic leaks – hydraulic fluid is not a concrete admixture.
• Check vibrator spacing, operation and frequency.
• Adjust the extrusion pan to the correct width and shape (cross-slope and crown).
• Set the paver parallel to the stringline.
• Set the height relative to the string to provide the correct pavement thickness.
• Run the paver on the string or with the correct stringless model for approximately 50’
and re-check alignment, elevation and crown/cross-slope.
pg. 49
• Check that the tie bar inserter(s) are set to insure that the tie bars are located correctly
in the pavement.
• If integral curb is being placed, confirm that the curb mold matches the curb design.

Key Inspection Items


• Paver width – the paver should be set slightly narrower than the design width because
the concrete will expand in width behind the paver.
• Crown and cross-slope.
• Vibrators are operable.

Quality Control Measurements


• Vibrator frequency – constant data collection with monitors or manually at least twice
daily.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Paver is clean 
2. Vibrators are working 
3. Vibrator spacing, height and orientation is correct 
4. No leaks 
5. Width, crown and cross-slope is correct 
6. Dry run on string 
7. Double check crown, cross-slope and thickness after dry run 

pg. 50
5. Plant Site and Mixture Production
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pg. 51
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pg. 52
AGGREGATE STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT
Description
Proper stockpiling techniques can contribute to concrete pavement quality by minimizing the
effects of:
• Mud balls – stockpile foundations should be firm and well drained to resist pumping of
mud balls into the bottom layer(s) of the aggregate stockpile.
• Segregation – stockpiles constructed in layers will minimize segregation.
• Variable moisture content – while it may be impossible to maintain uniform moisture
content, a well thought out plan and proper testing can accommodate changing
moisture contents (Figure 31).

Figure 31 – Plan for Changes; Different Colors Indicate Variable Aggregate Moisture Content

It is critical that the loader operators, concrete plant operator, and quality control staff
communicate clearly regarding which part of the stockpiles are being used to produce
concrete. Aggregate moisture testing representative of those areas of the stockpiles is
necessary to accurately compensate for the free moisture found in the aggregate during
mixture production. Sensors at the aggregate bin may be used if previous experience shows
satisfactory results. Caution should be exercised when using aggregate from the bottom 1’ of
stockpiles which have been placed on unstabilized ground.

Key Inspection Items


• Visually inspect the stockpile for segregation.
• Rutting and pumping at the edges of the stockpile suggests that mud balls may be a
concern.

pg. 53
Quality Control Measurements
• Sieve analysis during stockpiling – out of tolerance aggregates should be rejected.
• Aggregate moisture content.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Stockpile foundations have been stabilized 
2. Aggregate sources match the approved mixture design 
3. Aggregate gradation is within JMF tolerances 

pg. 54
PLANT SET-UP AND CALIBRATION
Description
Proper plant set-up occurs far before the plant is mobilized on site. From the onset, the
logistics of raw material deliveries, stockpiling and batch truck traffic need to be considered.
This is important for safety, productivity and quality. Batch plants are complex machines.
Maintenance and set-up should conform to the manufacturer’s recommendations (Figure 32).
Once the plant is erected and functional, the scales should be calibrated and certified. This
should be done each time the plant is relocated on the project.

Figure 32 – Proper Plant Set-up and Maintenance is Critical to Providing Uniform Concrete

A trial batch should be performed prior to production to confirm that the plant is working
properly. Uniformity testing should be performed on the trial batch to confirm that the plant is
capable of thorough mixing.

Key Inspection Items


• Check for scale calibration and certification.
• Review the trial batch ticket for the proper proportions.
• Check admixture and cementitious delivery tickets to assure that they match the
approved mixture design.
pg. 55
Quality Control Measurements
• Mixer uniformity testing.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Check all bins and belts to prevent intermingling of aggregates 
2. Scales calibrated and certified 
3. Water meter calibrated 
4. Admixture dispensing system is calibrated 
5. Mixing blades are not worn out 
6. Proper mixture proportions are programmed into the plant control

system

pg. 56
MIXTURE PRODUCTION
Description
A uniform concrete mixture is critical to the construction of a high quality concrete pavement.
Specifications require that each individual material meet certain criteria. It would be incorrect
to assume that combining these individual components which have already been tested and/or
certified to meet specification will result in a quality concrete mixture. In fact, great care must
be taken to produce a concrete mixture which will be both workable for placement and
durable.

Key Inspection Items


• Review aggregate moisture testing and moisture compensation on the batch tickets.
• Periodically monitor mixing time.
• Check that the aggregate moisture contents used for adjusting batch proportions is
representative of the material being taken from the stockpiles.

Quality Control Measurements


• Sieve analysis and combined gradation
• Aggregate moisture content
• Concrete temperature (*)
• Unit weight (*)
• Air content (*)

(*) Each of these quality measurements should be checked at least once per day at the plant
site and compared to samples obtained at the point of delivery.

pg. 57
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Batch proportions match the approved mixture design (daily) 
2. Moisture compensation is representative of the aggregates being

batched (at least 2 times per day, more if necessary)
3. Material inventories are adequate 
4. Mixing drum is clean of dried materials which could break loose 
5. Mixing blades are not overly worn 

pg. 58
TRANSPORTING CONCRETE
Description
There are numerous ways to transport concrete; the primary objective of this step in the
construction process is to deliver the concrete in a timely manner without causing it to
segregate. Obviously, mixer trucks can mitigate potential segregation, however most central
mixed concrete delivered to concrete paving projects is transported in non-agitating trucks
(Figures 33 and 34). Therefore, the haul route must be maintained in a manner that will
minimize segregation and air loss caused by rough haul roads.

Figure 33 – Transporting Concrete in a Dump Truck

Figure 34 – Transporting Concrete in a Live Bottom Trailer

pg. 59
Haul units must also be cleaned to prevent clumps of dried concrete from contaminating the
pavement. The plant site should provide an ample wash-out area that can accommodate
multiple trucks. Having enough trucks to deliver concrete is a key factor for allowing the paver
to maintain a steady pace.

Key Inspection Items


• Look for segregation in the mixture; this could be wet spots, dry clumps, areas of paste
concentration, etc.
• Check the haul road for smoothness.
• Watch for dried concrete in the haul units.
• Ensure an adequate number of haul units are on the project.

Quality Control Measurements


• None

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Haul route is maintained 
2. Wash-out area is adequate 
3. Adequate number of trucks on-site 
4. Vibrators on truck beds are operational 

pg. 60
6. Placement, Finishing, Texturing, Curing and Sawing
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pg. 61
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pg. 62
SPREADING CONCRETE
Description
Concrete can be discharged from a truck directly in front of a paver or a placer/spreader may
be used (Figure 35). In either case, the objective is to maintain a uniform head of concrete at
the front of the paver. Adjustments in this process are constant. When the elevation of the
subbase deviates from plan, the volume of concrete required also varies, causing the spreading
operation to react to the demands of the paver. When the head in front of the paver becomes
too large, a front end loader must redistribute the concrete (Figure 36); this should be avoided.
If the paver becomes starved for concrete, the grout box empties. Again, this is a situation that
should be avoided. When the head varies from one extreme to the other, pavement
smoothness suffers.

Figure 35 – Concrete Belt Placer/Spreader

Figure 36 – Adjusting Paver Head with an End Loader

pg. 63
Key Inspection Items
• Subgrade/Subbase should be sprinkled with water and remain damp before concrete
spreading occurs.
• Reject pavement in areas where the grout box empties.
• Monitor the amount of concrete in front of the paver; note the time and location of
extremes and correlate these events to the smoothness profiles.
• Visually inspect for non-uniformity before the concrete is extruded through the paver
(segregation, unmixed materials, etc.).
• Visually inspect for areas of segregation where belt placers are used; excessive belt
speed and excessive vertical drop can cause segregation (gap graded mixtures are
prone to segregation).

Quality Control Measurements


QC and acceptance samples are taken at the point of delivery:
• Concrete temperature.
• Subbase temperature.
• Slump.
• Unit weight.
• Air content.
• Strength.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Spreader, if used, is set narrower than the paver 
2. Spreader, if used, has automatic control for steering and elevation

(stringline or stringless)
3. Water truck is available for sprinkling grade 

pg. 64
SLIPFORMING (extrusion)

Description
After the concrete is spread, it is extruded through the paver. Some pavers use an auger while
others use a paddle to move the concrete from side to side. If the spreading operation is
efficient, this side to side movement is minimized. Vibrators are used to consolidate the
mixture and help extrude the concrete through the paver’s mold (Figure 37).

Figure 37 – Section View of A Slipform Paver

Ideally, the paver should move at a uniform speed. It is the paver operator’s responsibility to
adjust the paver speed to match the delivery rate of concrete. Vibrator frequency should also
be adjusted with the paver speed. There are many adjustments that can be made to a slipform
paver. These adjustments should be made by experienced personnel.

Key Inspection Items


• Visually inspect the edge for stability. Continued edge problems should not be
tolerated. They are an indication of a non-uniform mixture, improper consolidation, or
an out of adjustment paver.
• Visually inspect the pavement for surface tears directly behind the paver before any
hand finishing has occurred. Tears in the surface may indicate that the paver needs
adjustment and/or the mixture needs to be modified.
• Look for concrete build-up in the grout box – clean out hardened concrete from the
grout box.
• Adjust vibrator frequency for paver speed; vibrators should stop whenever the paver
stops.

Quality Control Measurements


• Vibrator frequency (automatic with monitors or manually at least twice per day).
• Paver speed – maintain a log of paver speed, noting start and stop locations.
• Smoothness profiles – correlate roughness to any events noted during paving.

pg. 65
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Vibrators operable before starting 
2. Monitor vibrator operation at least hourly 
3. Stringline or stringless models have been checked for accuracy 
4. Paver and all associated equipment are fueled and ready for

uninterrupted operation

pg. 66
INSERTION OF DOWELS AND/OR TIE BARS
Description
Dowels may be inserted instead of placed using a wire dowel basket (Figure 38). The same
tolerances and concerns apply to inserted dowels as to those placed in a basket.

Figure 38 – Automatic Dowel Bar Inserter (DBI)

In order for dowels to efficiently transfer the loads, they must be:
• Aligned perpendicular to the transverse joint (*)
• Aligned parallel to the pavement surface (*)
• Embedded on both sides of the joint (minimum 3” embedment) (**)
• Placed vertically within tolerance (minimum 2” cover) (**)

(*) Rotational misalignment less than 3% of dowel length, NCHRP Synthesis 56 and ACPA 1998.
(**) Guide to Dowel Load Transfer Systems for Jointed Concrete Roadway Pavements, Snyder,
2011.

pg. 67
The sawed joints must be placed over the inserted bars. Therefore, the dowel location needs to
be adequately marked on both sides of the pavement to ensure sawing the joint in the correct
place (Figure 39).

Figure 39 – Marking the Location of Inserted Dowels

Key Inspection Items


• Check transverse spacing and offset from the edge of pavement.
• Verify that dowel locations are marked on both sides of the pavement.
• Monitor consolidation above and around the dowels by coring after each day of paving.

Quality Control Measurements


• None during pre-paving, however the embedment and cover of bars should be verified
by probing behind the paver at 300’ intervals (at least 1 bar for each basket across the
width of the slab should be located).

Non-destructive devices such as ground penetrating radar, MIT Scan or pachometer (cover
meter) can be used to evaluate dowel/joint placement.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Correct dowel dimensions (diameter and length) 
2. Bar spacing is as specified 
3. Equipment is set-up to place the dowels at approximately mid-

depth of the pavement
4. Bar coating is as specified and not unduly damaged 
5. Bond breaker is adequate 
6. Verify that the dowel location is marked adequately on both sides

of the slab to ensure proper joint sawing
pg. 68
HAND FINISHING
Description
Hand finishing a slipformed concrete pavement should be kept to a minimum. The objective is
to finish the surface so that only minor imperfections remain. Over-finishing brings excess
paste to the surface. This excess paste leads to a non-durable surface which further exposes
the pavement to infiltration of moisture and deicing chemicals. Adding water to the surface is
an indication that the mixture and/or the paver need adjustment. Additional water (or
evaporation retardant) that is finished into the pavement surface results in the same durability
issues as over-finishing.

A straightedge should be used to identify bumps and dips. Once identified by the
straightedge, they should be corrected by an experienced concrete finisher (Figure 40).

Figure 40 – Using a Straightedge to Identify Dips and Bumps

Edges occasionally fall and need to be repaired by finishers. A board is typically placed to
reinforce the edge and the concrete is reconsolidated and finished. The mixture and/or the
paver should be adjusted when edges continue to fall.

Key Inspection Items


• Do not allow the addition of water to the pavement surface – adjust the mixture and/or
paver.
• Note locations where finishers cut bumps/fill dips.
• Monitor wetting/re-wetting of the burlap – overspray may “accidentally” add water to
the pavement surface.
• Consolidation at end-of-day headers.

pg. 69
Quality Control Measurements
• Smoothness profiles – correlate to events noted during paving.

Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Finishing tools are straight and true 
2. Header supplies and tools are on hand 

pg. 70
TEXTURING
Description
Detailed guidelines for texturing can be found in HOW TO REDUCE TIRE-PAVEMENT NOISE
INTERIM BETTER PRACTICES FOR CONSTRUCTING AND TEXTURING CONCRETE PAVEMENT
SURFACES, which is available from the CP Tech Center at:
http://www.cptechcenter.org/technical-library/documents/How_to_Reduce_Tire-
Pavement_Noise_final.pdf

A brief summary of texturing guidelines includes the following items:


• Operate the texture machine at a consistent speed.
• Use stringline to control the steering and elevation of the texture machine.
• Use clean and straight tines (Figure 41).
• Adjust tine length and angle to control texture depth.

Texturing is typically performed with the same piece of equipment as curing. In no case
should curing be delayed by the texturing process.

Figure 41 – Clean and Straight Tines Minimizes Positive Texture

Key Inspection Items


• Tine spacing should be checked.
• Observe nominal texture depth – it is impractical to measure texture depth, look for
texture that is obviously too deep or too shallow.

Quality Control Measurements


• None.

pg. 71
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Tine spacing as specified 
2. Broken tines replaced 
3. Cleaned tines 

pg. 72
CURING
Description
Curing compound is applied to a concrete pavement to create a membrane which prevents
evaporation of water from the pavement. The intent is to maintain the moisture in the concrete
mixture during the hydration process. If moisture is allowed to evaporate from the surface,
capillary voids are created which later allow moisture and deicing chemicals to enter the
pavement structure. Plastic shrinkage cracks can also occur when curing practices are
ineffective. Curing compounds used for paving include white pigment to reduce heat at the
surface from solar radiation.

Timely application of an adequate quantity of curing compound is the objective.

Key Inspection Items


• Visually inspect for complete and uniform coverage; the surface should be similar in
appearance to a white sheet of paper (no gray streaks)(Figure 42).
• Curing should be applied before any surface drying can occur.
• Curing should not be applied until bleed water is gone.

Figure 42 – Complete and Uniform Coverage of Curing Compound

Quality Control Measurements


• Record start and stop locations and times.
• Calculate an average coverage rate each time cure is added to the tank.

pg. 73
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Curing materials are on the job and meet specification 
2. Curing tanks are full and material has been agitated 
3. Pump for re-filling is operable 
4. Nozzles are clean and functioning 
5. Wind screen is adjusted 

pg. 74
SAWING
Description
Joints are created in concrete pavements to promote cracking. The sawcut creates a weakened
plane which if placed early enough in the life of the pavement induces a crack where we would
like it to occur (at the joint). Late sawing can result in random cracking.

There are many factors which influence when and where cracking will occur. Joint sawing
requires well maintained equipment and experienced personnel (Figure 43).

Figure 43 – Sawing Joints Requires Well Maintained Equipment and Experienced Personnel

Key Inspection Items


• Saw depth – check for compliance at mid-slab locations.
• Visually inspect for cracks.
• Raveling – is it excessive (sawing too early) or is it minimal (sawing too late)?

Quality Control Measurements


• Log time of paving, time of sawing and slab temperature.
• Install temperature sensors in the pavement every hour – monitor and correlate
temperature with the time of sawing relative to the time of placement.
• HIPERPAV® can be used to assess the early age behavior of concrete pavement. The
software models early stress and early strength of the concrete pavement, making it
useful to evaluate the potential for uncontrolled cracking and the effectiveness of
sawing operations.

pg. 75
Checklist
 When Complete
No. Item
1. Adequate number of saws and blades on the project 
2. Saw blades are the correct diameter for the required saw depth 
3. Water trucks are available to support the saw crew 
4. Lights if necessary are available and operable for the saw crew 

pg. 76
WEATHER ADJUSTMENTS
Description
The construction of concrete pavements is influenced by changes in the weather. Contractors
should monitor concrete/pavement temperature and be prepared to make the appropriate
adjustments in their processes and materials if necessary.

Appendix B contains an example weather management plan which should be prepared by


contractors to demonstrate their readiness to adjust to variable conditions.

The following items provide a brief summary of appropriate actions for rain, hot and cold
weather.

Rain
Sudden rain showers can occur without warning. The contractor should have an adequate
supply of plastic sheeting to cover the fresh concrete and protect it from the rain. When the
forecast predicts rain, it may be prudent to adjust the schedule and place small hand pours,
ramps or shoulders which may be smaller in size and easier to cover. Unprotected pavement
that is rained on should not be “re-finished”. The texture may be restored by sawcut grooving.

Hot Weather
Increased temperature speeds up the hydration process. If possible, the temperature of the
mixture should be kept below 90°F by adjusting the placement time (night paving), using
chilled mixing water, or other means. Class C fly ash and some admixtures may cause early
stiffening of the mixture at higher temperatures. Again, the preferred method of mitigation is
to reduce the temperature of the mixture.

Cold Weather
The first consideration for cold weather is to protect the concrete form freezing for a minimum
of 48 hours. Secondly, is coordinating the sawing of joints. When the pavement is covered to
protect it from freezing, it must be uncovered to saw and recovered again. Uncover the slab
directly ahead of the sawing operation to prevent rapid cooling of the pavement which may
induce a crack. Supplementary cementitious materials may retard strength gain in cooler
temperatures; sawing operations will need to be adjusted for this.

pg. 77
References
1. Transportation Construction Quality Assurance, FHWA-NHI-08-067, Washington, D.C.,
U.S. Department of Transportation, 2008
2. Day, K.W., Concrete Mix Design, Quality Control and Specification, 2nd ed., New York,
NY: Routledge, 1999
3. Fick, G.J., Testing Guide for Implementing Concrete Paving Quality Control Procedures,
Ames, IA, National Concrete Pavement Technology Center, 2008
4. Concrete Pavement Field Reference – Pre-Paving, Rosemont, IL, American Concrete
Pavement Association, EB237, 2008
5. Design and Construction of Joints for Concrete Highways, Rosemont, IL, American
Concrete Pavement Association, TB010, 1991
6. Early Cracking of Concrete Pavement – Causes and Repairs, Rosemont, IL, American
Concrete Pavement Association, TB016, 2002
7. Constructing Smooth Concrete Pavements, Rosemont, IL, American Concrete Pavement
Association, TB006, 2003
8. Concrete Pavement Field Reference – Paving, Rosemont, IL, American Concrete
Pavement Association, EB238, 2010
9. Taylor, P.C., Kosmatka, S.H., Voigt, G.F., et al, Integrated Materials and Construction
Practices for Concrete Pavement: A State-of-the-Practice Manual, FHWA HIF - 07 – 004,
Ames, IA, National Concrete Pavement Technology Center, 2007
10. ACPA Application Library http://apps.acpa.org/apps/

pg. 78
Appendix A: Template Quality Control Plan
This appendix is provided as an example of a “Quality Control Plan” (QCP) that is applicable to portland cement
concrete pavement. It follows the format recommended by Transportation Construction Quality Assurance (1) and
may be used as a guide when preparing a project specific QCP. Each QCP should document the QC activities
necessary to produce a product the meets the specification. “Boilerplate” documents are not acceptable; each
QCP should be thoughtfully prepared to fit the specific needs of that project. Blindly copying and recycling QCP
documents for use on multiple projects diminishes the value of the QCP. The process of developing a project
specific QCP provides valuable insight into project details and opportunities for quality improvements.

Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Quality Control Plan (QCP)


1.0 Scope and Applicable Specifications
Cite all applicable standard specifications, special provisions and drawings.

1.1 Standard specifications


1.2 Special provisions
1.3 Drawings

2.0 Quality Control Organization


Identify all QC personnel, list appropriate certifications and describe their responsibilities.

2.1 QC Plan Manager


2.2 Off-Site QC Personnel (e.g. aggregate suppliers)
2.3 QC Laboratory Personnel – Supervisor and technicians
2.4 On-Site QC Personnel – inspector(s) and technician(s)

3.0 Quality Control Laboratories


List all QC labs with their location, contact information, and relevant accreditations,
certifications and qualifications.

3.1 QC lab information


3.2 Test procedures performed at the laboratory (e.g. ASTM C 39 Compressive Strength of
Cylindrical Concrete Specimens)

4.0 Materials Control


List all materials used in the construction of PCCP.

pg. 79
4.1 Example materials control table
Storage On-Site
Material Specification(s) Source Shipper Location Processing
Rock Crushers, Rock
ASTM C33 Size DOT Approved Pit Haulers,
Coarse Plant Concrete
#67 #3033 (555)
Aggregate Site plant
DOT 700.11 (555) 555.5551 555.5552
Red Bird Burt Semis
Iron
Bar Busters, Freight,
Exit #17
Dowel Birmingham, OK (555)
DOT 700.25 Storage N/A
Baskets (555) 555.5553 555.5554
Yard
Nathan Steele Calvin
Tiress
­­­Additional
­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­
Materials­­­
Appendix A – Table 1: Example Materials Control Table

5.0 Quality Control Sampling and Testing


Provide details on sampling, testing and reporting for all QC activities.

5.1 Random sampling plan


5.2 Sample identification and storage system
5.3 Example QC sampling and testing table
5.4
Test Lot No. of Testing Sampling Sampling Report
Material Method Size Sublots Frequency Location Method Type
Tabular
Random
and
1 per
Graphical:
Gradation sublot “Power
Coarse 5,000 %
2 5 and/or Stockpile Pile”
Aggregate yd retained
ASTM C 136 minimum
CF/WF
1 per day GTM
0.45
#207
Power
First 3
loads per
day and Plant Tabular
repeat for Biased
Air Content 3 loads Grade and
Concrete N/A N/A
ASTM C 231 whenever Start of
admixture Behind day Control
dosages Paver Chart
are
adjusted

pg. 80
Fresh Temperature 5,000 5 1 per Grade Random Tabular
Concrete yd2 sublot
Air Content and
ASTM C 231
Control
Unit Weight Chart
ASTM C 138

Water
Content
AASHTO T
318
Tabular
Thickness
Concrete Probe 5,000 1 per and
5 Grade Random
Pavement yd2 sublot
GTM #215 Control
Chart
Thickness
Tabular
ASTM C 174
Hardened 5,000 1 per Pavement and
Compressive 5 Random
Concrete yd2 sublot Cores
Strength
Control
ASTM C 39
Chart
Appendix A – Table 2: Example QC Sampling and Testing Table

6.0 Production Facilities


Include details for the concrete plant and relevant QC activities.

6.1 Stockpile management plan


6.2 Truck washout procedures
6.3 Pre-production QC activities
6.3.1 Sieve analysis of aggregates
6.3.1.1 Sample and test for every 500 tons delivered
6.3.1.2 Compare to JMF tolerances established by the approved mixture design
6.3.1.3 Reject all nonconforming material

pg. 81
6.3.2 Verification batch
6.3.2.1 Check mixer uniformity
6.3.2.2 Compare mixture verification batch to mixture design properties
6.3.2.2.1 Slump at 5, 10 and 15 min.
6.3.2.2.2 Unit weight
6.3.2.2.3 Air content
6.3.2.2.4 Microwave water content
6.3.2.2.5 Heat signature
6.3.2.3 Repeat verification batch until uniformity and properties are acceptable

6.4 Production QC activities


6.4.1 Sieve analysis of aggregates
6.4.1.1 Sample and test for every 500 tons delivered
6.4.1.2 Compare to JMF tolerances established by the approved mixture design
6.4.1.3 Reject all nonconforming material
6.4.2 Air content of fresh concrete
6.4.2.1 Sample the first 3 loads of each day
6.4.2.2 Sample the first 3 loads after AEA admixture dosage is adjusted
6.4.2.3 Reject any concrete sampled at the plant with an air content less than 5%
6.4.3 Additional tests as necessary – include frequency and procedures for corrective
actions

7.0 Field Operations


Describe in detail each step of the concrete paving process and the associated QC activities.

7.1 Pre-paving
7.1.1 Staking and setting stringline
7.1.1.1 Inspection items
7.1.1.1.1 Visual inspection of stringline for abrupt changes/discontinuities
7.1.1.1.2 Spot check that pins are not loose
7.1.1.2 QC measurements (include action and suspension limits, when appropriate)
7.1.1.2.1 Random check of paving hub elevation – 1 per 1,000’
7.1.1.3 Checklist items to be completed daily by the stringline foreman and
submitted to the QC Manager before paving commences
7.1.1.4 Corrective actions
7.1.1.4.1 Re-survey and reset stringline where errors are identified
7.1.2 Dowel basket placement
7.1.2.1 Inspection items
7.1.2.1.1 Transverse spacing
7.1.2.1.2 Offset from edge of pavement
7.1.2.1.3 Joint markings on both sides of the pavement
7.1.2.1.4 Anchored firmly on the downstream side of the wire frame
7.1.2.2 QC measurements (include action and suspension limits, when appropriate)
7.1.2.2.1 Check location by probing at 300’ intervals – record longitudinal
and vertical shift and submit to the QC Manager daily
7.1.2.3 Checklist items to be completed daily by the concrete paving foreman and
submitted to the QC Manager before paving commences

pg. 82
7.1.2.4 Corrective actions
7.1.2.4.1 Replace misaligned or damaged baskets
7.1.2.4.2 Stop paving if the baskets are shifting more than 3” longitudinally.
Re-anchor all baskets to prevent movement
7.1.2.4.3 If baskets have moved, use a non-destructive device to locate bars
in all joints previously placed; develop a mitigation plan for all
joints that have load transfer issues and submit to the Engineer for
approval
7.2 Paving
7.2.1 Continue with each step of the paving process using the same format
7.2.1.1 Inspection items
7.2.1.2 QC measurements (include action and suspension limits, when appropriate)
7.2.1.3 Checklist items – note who is responsible, when it is to be performed and who
it is submitted to
7.2.1.4 Corrective actions

pg. 83
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pg. 84
Appendix B: Weather Management Plan
The following is an example of an acceptable weather management plan. This plan may be
used with edits, and expanded as necessary, by the contractor to meet the needs of his
concrete mixtures, haul units, evaporation modeling method or software, paving hours and
other items that are project specific.

CONTRACTOR XYZ WEATHER MANAGEMENT PLAN

Project: XYZ
Location: XYZ
Submitted By and Title: XYZ
Date: XYZ

The following project specific plan details actions that will be taken during concrete placement
in hot weather, cold weather and times when a rainstorm is imminent.

1.0 Hot Weather Paving

Hot weather paving is defined as paving when the concrete temperature is greater than 85˚F or
the moisture evaporation rate at the concrete surface is greater than 0.20 lb/ft2/hr (0.10
lb/ft2/hr for concrete mixtures containing fly ash or slag), as determined using the American
Concrete Institute (ACI) moisture evaporation rate chart (Appendix B - Chart 1). During hot
weather, the following actions will be taken:

1) Mixing Requirements - Paving will be suspended when the concrete temperature exceeds
XX˚F (insert the maximum allowed by specification). Mitigation measures to prevent the
concrete temperature from exceeding XX˚F when measured directly in front of the paver
include:

a) Chilled water shall be used to prevent the concrete temperature from exceeding XX˚F as
measured directly in front of the paver.
b) Night placement may be initiated during prolonged periods of hot weather.
c) Aggregate stockpiles may be sprinkled lightly to cool the outside of the stockpile.
d) The use of specific supplementary cementing materials may be reconsidered.

2) Hauling Requirements - No provision for alternative haul units is included. Non-agitating


dump trucks will be used for all placements. The actions detailed in Section 1 will be used
for controlling the concrete temperature.

3) Placing Requirements:
a) A water truck shall be utilized to sprinkle the subbase ahead of the area where concrete
is deposited. The subbase will be kept damp with no areas of standing water.
b) When side forms are used, they will be sprinkled to maintain a surface temperature
below 120˚F.

pg. 85
c) The ambient conditions for relative humidity (%), concrete temperature (˚F), and wind
velocity (mph) will be measured and recorded every 30 minutes during concrete
placement. These measured values will be used to determine the evaporation rate
(lb/ft2/hr) utilizing Chart 1 or an appropriate software.
d) The anticipated placement and finishing techniques listed in order are: 1) dump
concrete in front of the paver, 2) consolidate and extrude the pavement using a slipform
paver, 3) hand finishing using floats and straightedges, 4) texturing, and 5) curing. When
the evaporation rate exceeds 0.20 lb/ft2/hr (0.10 lb/ft2/hr for concrete mixtures
containing fly ash or slag) and the curing application is more than 20 minutes behind
the texturing operation, an evaporation retardant will be used to prevent plastic
shrinkage cracking.
e) Windscreens and/or shades as referenced in ACI 305R will not be used.

4) Necessary Concrete Placement in Hot Weather:


a) When schedule conflicts cannot be avoided, concrete temperatures above XX˚F will be
allowed for placements that are less than 200 feet long. Under these conditions,
evaporation retardant will be sprayed at the manufacturers recommended rate between
the finishers and the burlap drag and again directly behind the burlap drag.

The above sections are in accordance with standard practices and applicable recommendations
of ACI 305R-99.

2.0 Cold Weather Paving

Cold weather paving is defined as paving when the air temperature is forecast to be less than
32˚F at any time within 72 hours of concrete placement. The following actions will be taken
during cold weather paving:

1) Mixing Requirements - Paving will be suspended when the concrete temperature is less
than 50˚F, mitigation measures to prevent concrete temperatures lower than 50˚F when
measured directly in front of the paver include:
a) Heated water shall be used to maintain the concrete temperature above 50˚F as
measured directly in front of the paver.
b) An approved accelerating admixture may be used to promote earlier sawing than would
otherwise be possible.
c) Approved mixes containing Class F Fly Ash and/or ground granulated blast furnace slag
will not be used.

2) Hauling Requirements - No provision for alternative haul units is included. Non-agitating


dump trucks will be used for all placements. The actions detailed in Section 1 will be used
for controlling the concrete temperature.

3) Placing Requirements - Concrete will be placed only when the subbase temperature is 32˚F
or greater and the ambient temperature is at least XX˚F (insert the minimum allowed by
specification). Placement will cease any time the subbase temperature is less than 32˚F or
when the ambient temperature is less than XX˚F.

pg. 86
Protection of Concrete:
a) Concrete pavement surface temperature shall be maintained at or above 32˚F for a
period of 72 hours or until in-place concrete compressive strength of 1,500 psi is
attained. As necessary, the pavement shall be covered with one layer of polyethylene
sheeting and two layers of burlap or curing blankets.
b) Temperature sensors that record the temperature of the pavement at 15 minute
intervals will be placed in the edge of the pavement approximately 2 inches below the
surface in the first and last 200 feet of placement. These sensors will be monitored to
determine when the maturity equivalent of 1,500 psi is achieved. Protective insulation
may be removed after the pavement reaches the maturity equivalent of 1,500 psi and
the pavement temperature is essentially in equilibrium with the ambient temperature.
c) Protective insulation will be temporarily removed to enable joint sawing at the earliest
possible time.
d) Pavement will be opened to traffic in accordance with the proposed specification
requirements.

The above sections are in accordance with standard practices and applicable recommendations
of ACI 306R.

1.0 Protecting Concrete from Rain Damage

The following steps will be taken, as necessary:

1) Paving will be canceled or ceased when rain storms are imminent. Weather radar will be
monitored at the project office at a minimum of 1 hour intervals when the forecast
probability of precipitation is 40% or greater.
2) 18 rolls of 4.0 mil polyethylene sheeting, 20 feet by 100 feet, will be stored on the curing
machine for use in protecting the pavement from rain damage. In addition, an adequate
number of 12-foot by 2-inch by 8-inch boards will be stored on the form truck for use as
ballast to prevent the polyethylene from being removed by wind. The quantity of
polyethylene is based on the following estimate:
a) Average initial set time = 3.5 hours.
b) Average plant production = 250 cubic yard per hour.
c) Placement dimensions – 26 feet wide by 12 inches thick ≈ 1.0 cubic yard/lineal foot of
paving.
d) 3.5 hours x 250 cubic yards/hour ÷ 1.0 cubic yard/lineal foot = 875 feet of exposed
pavement that has not reached initial set.
3) Polyethylene sheeting will be removed after the rain storm to enable curing operations and
joint sawing.
4) Cores of rain damaged pavement will be taken at intervals of 100 feet center to center.

Remedial actions for rain damaged pavement shall conform to the proposed specification
requirements related to diamond grinding or remove and replace.

pg. 87
Appendix B - Chart 1: Rate of evaporation as affected by ambient conditions
(courtesy PCA)

pg. 88
Appendix C: Iowa DOT Field Inspection Checklist
PCC Paving Field Inspection Checklist
Duty Frequency Record Specification/Resource Commentary
Checks
Prior to Concrete Placement

Check proof Everywhere Specification 2301.03, B, 3 all PCC All subgrades should be proof rolled with a
rolling of prior to final paving sheep's foot roller no more than 1 week
subgrade trimming of Specification 2115.03, B, 2 prior to trimming of the final grade. In
subgrade. Modified Subbase addition, when Modified Subbase is used,
the subgrade is to be proof rolled with a
loaded truck to identify soft spots, etc.

Check As needed Prior to checking subgrade and subbase


stringline cross slope and elevation, check to ensure
that the stringline is properly placed
relative to the paving hub. This can be
done simply by measuring from the paving
hub up to the stringline. Make sure to
factor in the contractor's machine constant
when measuring.

Check 10/mile (IM- Form E109 Specification 2109.03, A, 10 Check to ensure subgrade is trimmed to
trimmed 204) plus or minus 0.05 foot the proper cross slope and elevation.
subgrade Usually checked by placing string across
the subgrade from stringline to stringline
and measuring down to top of subgrade.
When stringline is not available, a survey
rod and level may be used. Laser levels
have been used but are less common. GPS

pg. 89
rovers have also been used, but are not
accurate enough to measure within the
specification tolerances.

Make sure As needed Specification 2111.03, E The specification prohibits the contractor
the from driving on the granular subbase
contractor is material. This is a concern because
not driving excessive haul traffic on the granular
haul vehicles subbase material can cause the material to
on granular break down and generate an excessive
subbase amount of fines. This is undesirable
because granular subbase is intended to be
a drainable material. Haul equipment must
be operated on the material for delivery
and placement purposes. A reasonable
expectation of the contractor is that they
get on and off the material within a 500 to
1000 foot stretch. When recycled materials
are used, the distance should be kept
closer to 500 feet. When virgin materials
are used, the distance can be extended up
to 1000 feet depending upon how much
breakdown of the material occurs.

pg. 90
Check 10/mile (IM- Form E109 Modified SubbaseSpecification Check to ensure subbase is trimmed to the
trimmed 204) 2115.03 plus 0 and minus 0.05 foot proper cross slope and elevation. This,
subbase IM 204 Appendix CGranular along with the subgrade checks, will ensure
(granular or Subbase Specification 2111.03, D, 4 proper subbase thickness. Usually checked
modified) plus 0 and minus 0.05 foot IM 204 by placing string across the subbase from
Appendix D stringline to stringline and measuring
down to top of subbase. When stringline is
not available, a level may be used. Laser
levels have been used but are less
common. GPS rovers have also been used,
but are not accurate. The width of the
subbase should also be checked at this
time to ensure that the proper placement
width is being achieved. Note that subbase
width typically includes an added three feet
on each side of the pavement for a padline.

Check steel Specification 4151.03, G Steel reinforcement should be stored in a


reinforcemen manner that reduces the risk of corrosion,
t storage damage, and breakdown of epoxy coating.
All reinforcement is to be stored on
supports to prevent contact with the
ground and extended contact with
moisture. Epoxy coated bars should be
covered with a non-transparent material if
exposed for 2 months or more.

pg. 91
Check dowel Form E111 Specification 2301.03, E Dowel baskets should be checked for
basket Specification 4151.02, B spacing, alignment, proper anchorage, and
placement Road Standard PV-101 adequate bond breaker coating. A quick
Paving typicals in B sheets of and simple method to check alignment is
project plans to sight down the grade. Baskets that are
out of alignment will be visible as the
dowels will not line up. The baskets should
also be checked to ensure that the dowel
bars are level and parallel with each other.
It is important to check alignment of
dowels to ensure that the contraction joint
works properly in the pavement. Once the
joint is sawed and the pavement cracks, the
concrete is intended to slide over the
dowel as the pavement expands and
contracts. If the dowels are out of
alignment, the pavement cannot properly
slide on the dowels which may result in
random cracking.

pg. 92
Baskets should be anchored with a
minimum of 8 basket stakes per lane width.
Dowel baskets are required to be coated
with a bond breaker. Typically the bond
breakers used are a bituminous material or
a paraffin based material called Tectyl.
Often the bituminous coating can become
dry and brittle and will develop cracks in
the material. If this occurs, recoating of the
bars may be necessary. The contractor is
not required to cut the tie wires on the
baskets as long as the basket is
manufactured correctly. The PV-101 road
standard shows three #10 gauge wires on
the basket. If more than three wires are
provided, only three may be left uncut. One
final check that should be made for dowel
baskets is to check that the contractor has
marked the center of each end of the
basket to identify the location of the basket
for purposes of sawing. This is typically
done by placing a basket stake off each
end of the basket along with a paint mark.

Inspect the Once each Form Specification 2301.03, A, 3 A few days prior to start of paving, several
finishing paver and when 830213 Construction Manual Appendix 9-3 checks should be made on the paver, and
machine information form 830213 should be completed. Use this
changes. form to record vibrator spacing and angle.
The paver width and cross slope should
also be checked. The form can also be used
to record vibrator frequency checks during
paving.

pg. 93
Check paver Specification 2301.03, A, 3, a Discuss layout of vibrators with contractor
vibration Vibration monitoring required for to confirm locations of each relative to data
monitoring all projects with mainline paving being recorded on monitoring system.
system quantities greater than 50,000
square yards

Check paver Once each Form Specification 2301.03 A, 3, a Record on form 830213. Spacing may be
vibrator paver and each 830213 16 inch maximum spacing increased due to structural limitations of
spacing time the paver finishing machine. Greater spacing should
width is not be allowed for tie steel insertion or lack
changed. of the correct number of vibrators.

Check paver Once each Form Specification 2301.03 A, 3, a Record on form 830213.
vibrator paver. 830213 Vibrators should be mounted
angle parallel to direction of paving and
trailing end tilted to approximately
15 degrees below horizontal

During Concrete Placement

Place date in Daily The date should be stamped in the headers


headers at the beginning and end of each day's run.
The date should be placed in the outer 2
feet of the pavement in a position where it
will not be destroyed by possible milled
shoulder rumble strip placement.

pg. 94
Check As needed. Specification 2109.03, B The subgrade or subbase should be
subgrade / Specification 2301.03, B periodically checked throughout the
subbase paving day to ensure that the material is
moisture uniformly moist. Moisture should be added
as needed to keep the material in a
uniformly moist condition. As the subgrade
or subbase material dries out, moisture will
be wicked out of the concrete and can
cause loss of strength and reduction in
effective pavement thickness. After periods
of rain, addition of moisture may not be
necessary if sufficient moisture is present.

Check dowel Periodically Specification 2301.03, E It is a good practice to periodically walk


baskets out in front of the paving train and check
to make sure dowel baskets are still in
proper alignment and free from
contamination. Occasionally baskets can
become damaged or contaminated with
mud or other debris during handling and
placement. These baskets should be
cleaned and repaired or removed and
replaced.
Check joint As needed Specification 2301.03, E There are certain locations on a project
layouts K and L sheets in project plans where specific joint types and spacings are
required. Areas such as turn lanes, paved
crossovers, and side road connections will
have a specific jointing layout included in
the K and L sheets of the project plans. It is
important to review the project plans and
inspect the contractors jointing layout prior
to placing concrete.

pg. 95
Check At start of Ready mix Specification 2301.02, C, 4 The specification requires that concrete
concrete concrete - Form hauled without continuous agitation be
delivery time placement and 830212 placed within 30 minutes after batching.
when delivery Central This time may be extended an additional
routes or batch - 30 minutes when a retarder is used with
distances N/A approval of the Engineer. Concrete hauled
change with continuous agitation must be placed
within 90 minutes after batching. When
using ready mix concrete, the time batched
should be included on Form 830212 (Ready
Mix Concrete) when received on grade.
After discharge, the discharge time should
also be recorded on the form. For central
batch concrete, haul routes and haul times
should be discussed with the contractor
prior to placement. Factors such as delays
due to heavy traffic (i.e. - rush hour in an
urban area) should be discussed along with
possible alternate haul routes. Haul times
should be observed and recorded in the
daily diary for the project.

Check and Each load Form Specification 2301.02, C, 4 Record water added to each load on the
document 830212 ready mix ticket for that load. Total water
water added added to all loads for the placement
on grade should be totaled and reported to the plant
inspector for inclusion on the plant report.

pg. 96
Check Periodically Specification 2301.03, F Concrete should be placed in a manner
concrete Specification 2301.03, J that minimizes segregation and
placement disturbance of reinforcement. When a belt
operation placer is being used, check to make sure
that a deflector is in place and being used.
This will help to minimize segregation.
During hand placements, hand operated
vibrators should not be used to move the
concrete. They should only be used for
consolidation purposes.

Concrete placement should also be


monitored to ensure that concrete does
not sit on the grade for more than 30
minutes before consolidation and finishing.
This is to ensure that the concrete is plastic
and workable when consolidated and
finished by the finishing machine.

Test slump Minimum 1/700 Form E115 Specification 2301.02, B, 3 There are no slump requirements for slip
of plastic CY Form E111 Slip form paving N/A form pavement since the ability of the
concrete Minimum of 1 Non-slip form paving 0.5" to 4" pavement to hold a slipped edge governs
test per IM 204 Appendix E, IM 317 slump.
placement

pg. 97
Test Minimum 1/700 Form Specification 2301.02, B, 4 As concrete is placed, consolidated, and
entrained air CY Minimum E115Form Slip form paving target of 8% with finished, air entrainment is lost. It is
content of 1/100 CY for E111 a tolerance of plus or minus 2% desirable to have an entrained air content
plastic transit mix Non slip form paving target of 7% of approximately 6% after finishing. The
concrete Minimum of 1 with a tolerance of plus or minus specification limits for air content are set
test per 1.5% up to account for air loss during placement
placement IM 204 Appendix E, IM 318, IM 327, and finishing. It is important that
IM 527, IM 530 verification tests for air content are
Construction Manual 9.63 random. Testing frequency must be
random in order for the test to be valid.
Testing should not be performed at regular
intervals or at fixed times each day.
Verification testing should not be timed to
match contractor quality control testing.

Observe and As requested Form E115 Construction Manual 9.63 Witnessing and documenting contractor
record by contractor QC tests is important because it may
contractor reduce the amount of non-compliance
quality and/or testing that a contractor may be
control air responsible for when non-complying
tests material is incorporated.

pg. 98
Check Daily when Form E111 Specification 2301.03, S It is important to check concrete
concrete near Minimum 40 degrees F at time of temperatures in the early spring and late
mixture specification placement fall to ensure that the minimum mixture
temperature limits temperatures are achieved. Early spring is
the more critical time to ensure minimum
mixture temperatures since the
subgrade/subbase as well as all of the
mixture ingredients are much colder after
the winter. Typically mixture temperatures
are not an issue in the late fall as the
mixture ingredients are usually warmer
than the ambient air temperatures.

While Iowa does not have an upper limit


for concrete mixture temperatures,
temperatures should be taken and
recorded when complications with air
entrainment or finishing are encountered
during hot weather.

Check At start of Form E111 Specification 2301.03, A, 3 Similarly to checks made on the finishing
pavement paving and Specification 2301.03, F and G machine prior to start of paving, the
width and when paving Paving typicals in B sheets of pavement itself should be checked to
cross slope widths change project plans ensure that the proper width and cross
slope are provided. Cross slope checks can
be accomplished by running a stringline
across the pavement from one stringline to
another. Measurements can then be made
down from the stringline to top of
pavement at the centerline and both
pavement edges to determine the cross
slope of the pavement.

pg. 99
Check depth Daily Form E111 Specification 2301.03, A, 3 Typically contractors check the thickness of
of plastic Form E110 Paving typicals in B sheets of the pavement in the plastic concrete to
concrete project plans ensure that they are paving plan thickness
or thicker. This activity should be observed
by the grade inspector. The grade
inspector should perform the checks on
their own if the contractor is not.

Check 1/1000 CY Form E Comparison should be made between the


concrete 137 cubic yards of concrete batched and the
yield Form E111 cubic yardage of concrete required for a
given area of pavement. Typically the
quantity batched will be between 103%
and 106% of the quantity required.

pg. 100
Check paver 2/day Form Specification 2301.03, A, 3 It has been proven that excessive vibration
vibrator 830213For can cause significant entrained air loss in
frequency m E111 concrete, and can result in non-durable
concrete and premature deterioration. For
this reason, vibration should be monitored
very closely on every project. The
specifications require contractors to use
vibration monitoring systems for all slip
form paving on projects with quantities
50,000 square yards and greater. These
systems record significant information such
as vibration rate, station location, paver
speed, etc. The systems have a display that
shows the vibration rate for each individual
vibrator. When a vibration monitoring
system is in use, inspectors should still
check the vibration rate of individual
vibrators by hand to ensure that the
monitor is accurate. Vibration monitoring
data is required to be submitted to the
Engineer. This information should be
reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that
vibrators are run within the specification
limits.
For projects less than 50,000 square yards
and no vibration monitors, each vibrator on
the paver should be checked twice per day
to ensure that the vibrator is within the
allowable tolerances.

The paver operator should never be


allowed to adjust the paver vibrator rates
prior to or during vibration rate checks.

pg. 101
Check hand Once per unit Form E111 Specification 2301.03, A, 3 The specification requires the vibration rate
operated of vibrators used for hand finished
vibrator pavement to operate between 3500 vpm
frequency and 6000 vpm. This should be checked for
each vibrator used prior to the first hand
pour. Document the check in the daily
diary and on Form E111.

Check Daily Form E111 Specification 2301.03, ERoad The final location and alignment of tie steel
centerline tie Standard PV-101 should be checked in the plastic concrete
steel behind the finishing machine. Often a hack
insertion in saw blade or trowel is inserted into the
plastic concrete at centerline to determine the
concrete location and depth of centerline tie steel.
Once located at centerline, the depth and
alignment of the ends of the bar should
also be checked to ensure that the bar is
not shifted horizontally or vertically out of
alignment. Spacing of tie bars can be
determined by observing the frequency of
insertion on the finishing machine.

pg. 102
Check Periodically Specification 2301.03, H The primary purpose for hand finishing
finishing behind the finishing machine is to remove
operation small imperfections in the final pavement
surface and provide a uniform surface. The
surface of the slab should be observed
behind the finishing operation to
determine if finishing operations are
adequate. Occasional "bug holes" are
permissible, but should be kept to a
minimum. Over finishing is also
undesirable as it can affect pavement
smoothness and potentially cause a loss of
entrained air at the surface. A balance must
be reached between the positive and
negative effects of finishing.

During finishing, free water may not be


added to the surface of the pavement. A
small amount of water may be added to a
burlap drag attached to the back of the
finishing machine. A good indicator that
too much water is being added to the
burlap drag is the presence of bubbles off
the trailing end of the burlap. Another
indicator that excessive water has been
added to the burlap is the collection of
excessive amounts of mortar by the floats.
When excessive amounts of mortar are
collected, this material should be wasted
over the edge of the pavement and not
finished into the surface. Addition of water
to the burlap should be restricted.

For smoothness purposes, the contractor is


required to periodically check the
pg. 103
pavement longitudinally with a 10 foot
straightedge. The surface should not
deviate more than 1/8" in 10 feet. Edge
slump should also be checked. Up to 1/2"
of edge slump is permissible if abutting
pavement is not to be placed. If abutting
pavement is to be placed, up to 1/4" of
edge slump is permitted.

Check Periodically Road Standard PV-11 Check spacing and depth of structural
structural rumble strips in plastic concrete.
rumble strip
placement
(when
required)

pg. 104
Check Periodically Form Specification 2301.03, Microtexture should be placed using
texture E140Form HConstruction Manual 9.40 artificial turf, coarse carpet, or burlap.
placement in E111 Placement of microtexture roughens the
plastic pavement surface and provides grip for
concrete tires to assist with stopping. Macrotexture
(tining) can be placed either longitudinally
or transversely (longitudinal tining is most
common). Macrotexture is placed to
provide a break in the pavement surface to
allow water to escape from under tires
during a rain and reduce the tendency for
hydroplaning. When tining is placed
transversely, a 4 to 6 inch gap centered
around each transverse joint is to be left
untined. Longitudinal tining should be
straight and as parallel to centerline as
possible. The depth of tining should be
kept at or slightly less than the specified
1/8" target to minimize noise created by
tires interacting with the pavement surface.
When tining is placed longitudinally, a 2 to
3 inch gap centered around each
longitudinal joint is to be left untined.

Check cure Periodically White pigment cure is typically delivered to


brand and a project in reusable totes. The totes
lot number should periodically be inspected to ensure
that the proper brand and lot number of
the cure are identified on the tote. The lot
number should also be cross checked with
the list of approved lots of cure found on
the Office of Materials web site.

pg. 105
Check cure Periodically for Form E111 Specification 2301.03, K The specifications require cure placement
placement uniformity of within 30 minutes after finishing. Timing of
coverage the cure placement should be observed
Daily for yield throughout each day to ensure that this
requirement is being met. The specification
also allows an extension of the 30 minute
requirement when weather and/or mixture
properties require an extended period
before curing. This is allowed to ensure
tining can be placed at the proper depth. If
a mixture is still too plastic within the 30
minutes after finishing, it is not desirable to
proceed with tining and curing if the tining
depth will be too deep. Cure placement
should be checked to ensure uniformity of
application. Streaks should be minimal and
areas of visible gray should be recured.
Yield checks should be performed daily
based upon the total cure applied
throughout the days run and the total
square yardage of pavement cured
including the sides of the pavement. If
forms are used to support the edge of
pavement, the pavement edge should be
cured by hand if the forms are removed
prior to the pavement reaching opening
strength.

pg. 106
Place station Each station Station markers should be placed in the
markers in outside two feet of the mainline pavement
plastic and in a position where they will not be
concrete removed or destroyed by possible milled
shoulder rumble strip placement. If a
station marker happens to fall on a
transverse joint location, shift the marker to
avoid falling on the joint. Place station
markers facing outward so they can be
read from the shoulder.

Check cold When used Form E137 Specification 2301.03, K Monitor forecast temperature conditions to
weather Form E111 Specification 2301.05, J determine if cold weather protection will
protection be necessary during curing. Table 2301.03-
1 identifies the required covering necessary
based on forecast low temperatures. The
table also includes conditions under which
the cold weather protection may be
removed. Quantities of cold weather
protection must be tracked and recorded
since payment is made to the contractor
for providing it (see 2301.05, J).

Cast Two per day Form E114 Specification 2301.03, UIM 328IM On projects in which the contractor
concrete when maturity 316 chooses not to use maturity to determine
beams to is not used to pavement opening strength, opening
determine determine strength is determined based upon a
pavement opening combination of time and flexural strength.
opening strength Two beams are cast daily. Beams should be
strength cured similarly to the pavement and stored
on site overnight. The following day the
beams can be moved to plant inspector’s
lab for further curing until broken. Care
should be taken in handling the beams to

pg. 107
avoid detrimental cracking that may cause
low strength results.

Cast One set of two N/A Beams IM 328 Inspectors should cast one set of two
concrete beams every tested in QM-C Developmental Specification beams every 10,000 CY. These beams are to
beams for 10,000 CY Central be delivered to Central Materials to be
pavement Materials tested for 28 day flexural strength.
design Information obtained from testing of these
purposes beams is used to assist in future pavement
designs.

Monitor Daily Form E141 Specification 2301.03, U On projects in which the contractor
maturity Form IM 383 chooses to use maturity to determine
probe M142 opening strength, the contractor is
placement responsible for placement of the maturity
on projects probes and taking temperature readings.
where However, probe placement should be
maturity is observed to ensure the temperature
used to readings accurately reflect the temperature
determine of the pavement. For instance, if portions
pavement of the pavement are in shaded areas,
opening additional probes should be placed there
strength as that pavement will gain temperature and
strength more slowly than the unshaded
areas. Maturity probe locations should be
recorded on Form E141.

pg. 108
After Concrete Placement

Report water Daily/each Form IM 527 The plant inspector is required to report
added on placement 830212 average water/cement ratio for each
grade to placement on the project plant report.
plant When using ready mix concrete, this
inspector requires water added on the grade to be
tracked and reported back to the plant
inspector. Water added on the grade
should be reported to the plant inspector
on a daily basis to allow for timely
completion of the plant report.

Check milled N/A Road Standard PV-12 and PV-13 Milled rumble strips may be placed on the
rumble strip shoulder or centerline of the roadway. They
placement are placed in the hardened concrete after
opening strength is achieved. Rumble strip
placement should be checked to ensure
proper spacing, depth, and location
requirements are being met.

pg. 109
Check saw Daily Joint Specification 2301.03, N Saw cuts should be checked daily to ensure
cuts Check Road Standard PV-101 proper depth, width, layout, straightness,
Worksheet K and L sheets in project plans and spacing. It is important to keep in
Construction Manual 9.20 mind that even though the joint layout may
be correct during placement, the saw crew
may not saw joints at the correct locations.
Occasionally saw cutting errors are made in
irregular areas due to lack of adequate
marking of the joint layout in the plastic
concrete. This may result in the saw
operator not knowing where and/or what
type of joints to saw. Saw cuts should also
be checked to make sure the saw operator
is pulling up the blade before reaching the
edge of pavement as shown on the PV-101
standard. This is important for early entry
sawing as the backward rotation of the saw
blade can "blow out" the edge of the
pavement if the saw cut is not stopped
short of the pavement edge.

Check joint Daily Joint Specification 2301.03, P Joints should be checked to ensure that
filling Check Road Standard PV-101 they are properly cleaned before filling,
Worksheet Construction Manual 9.20 and joint filler should be placed to the
proper level. Unless otherwise approved,
joint filling should only be performed when
pavement and ambient air temperatures
are above 40 degrees F.

pg. 110
Check Daily Form E140 Specification 2301.03, H In addition to the checks made in plastic
texture Construction Manual 9.40 concrete, macrotexture should also be
placement in checked in the hardened concrete. The
hardened depth of the tining should be checked to
concrete ensure that it falls within the specification
requirements. The procedure outlined in
Construction Manual 9.43 should be
followed to determine compliance with
tining depth requirements.

Review initial Daily until 3 N/A Specification 2317 The contractor is required to submit
contractor consecutive Specification 2316 smoothness information daily until they
smoothness days of 100% IM 341 have paved for three consecutive days
information pay or better resulting in 100% payment or better. There
are several reasons for this requirement.
First is to identify if there are equipment or
process issues causing placement problems
in the paving operation. It is not desirable
to allow the contractor to continue paving
if acceptable smoothness levels are not
being achieved. This requirement also may
identify problems in the contractor's
smoothness evaluation. It also gives
inspection staff the opportunity to review
the contractor's profilograph settings to
make sure they are correct.

pg. 111
Review final After submittal N/A Specification 2317 The contractor is required to submit all
contractor of final Specification 2316 final profilograph reports and traces to the
smoothness profilograph IM 341 Engineer within 14 days after completion of
information reports and paving. After receipt of all final reports and
traces traces, the information should be reviewed
to ensure that all sections of pavement
have been evaluated. In addition, the
smoothness information should be
evaluated to determine if the incentive or
disincentive requested by the contractor is
accurate.

Determine Daily/as Form E114 Specification 2301.03, U The contractor is responsible for curing and
time for needed Form E141 breaking beams to determine time of
opening opening. The contractor is also responsible
pavement for for placing probes, taking temperature
use readings, and calculating TTF when
maturity is used. However, the Engineer is
responsible to determine if a section of
pavement may be opened to traffic. For
this reason, beam break and maturity
information should be obtained from the
contractor and reviewed prior to opening
the pavement to traffic. Maturity
information should be recorded on Form
E141.

Check Spot check in Form E111 Specification 2301.03, E Check tie steel in hardened concrete to
longitudinal each day's run Road Standard PV-101 ensure proper alignment and that the
tie steel Construction Manual 9.26 and 9.27 correct number of bars are included in each
placement in panel (see Construction Manual 9.27). This
hardened check is important to determine that the
concrete bars are centered across the joint, level,
and perpendicular to the centerline. Tie

pg. 112
steel checks in hardened concrete are
typically made using a survey pin finder.

Determine Once per Specification 2301.04 and 2301.05 There are several steps to take In
pavement project IM 346 and 347 evaluating pavement thickness. First,
thickness random core locations for each section of
pavement, as defined by IM 346, should be
obtained from District Materials. Then the
core locations should be marked on the
pavement. Taking of the cores must be
witnessed by inspection staff and
inspectors must take immediate possession
of the cores after removal from the
pavement by the contractor. Cores should
then be measured according to IM 347 and
a thickness index determined for each
section of pavement. After measurement,
the cores should be delivered to District
Materials for assurance testing.
General

Check traffic When travelling Even though traffic control checks are a
control on the project responsibility of the contractor, if problems
or deficiencies are observed, inform the
contractor when the observations are made
so that corrections can be made in a timely
manner.

pg. 113
Check As needed N/A Specification 2528.1, C The contractor is required to check traffic
contractor's control and record significant information.
traffic It is a good practice to review the
control daily contractor's diary occasionally to ensure
diary that documentation is being recorded as
required. For instance, after noting
damaged signing or deficiencies in the
traffic control devices or setup, review the
daily diary to ensure the deficiencies and
the remedies are recorded.

Monitor the Daily N/A Specification 1107.07, E The contractor is responsible for
project for controlling fugitive dust on the project.
fugitive dust When dust is being generated and leaving
the project site, the contractor should be
reminded of their responsibility to control
dust and a request should be made to take
measures to do so. In urban areas, it is even
more critical that dust be controlled as
property owners will be more sensitive to
dust generated by the project.

Monitor Daily N/A Construction Manual 2.12 The contractor is required to submit a
contractor request for haul road designation for roads
haul roads used to haul materials for the project. Once
designated as a haul route, the contractor
is expected to use the haul route for the
designated purpose. The contractor's
operations should be observed daily to
ensure that haul traffic is using the
appropriate, approved haul routes.

pg. 114
Issue When Form The owner is obligated to notify the
noncomplian noncompliance 830245 contractor in writing when noncompliance
ce notices occurs occurs. This is done using Form 830245.
Noncompliance notices should be issued
as quickly as is practical after observation
of the noncompliance to give the
contractor ample time to take corrective
action. The noncompliance notice also
provides a written record of notification
being provided to the contractor.

pg. 115
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pg. 116
Appendix D: Suggested Meetings Between the Agency and
Contractor
The information presented in this resource is provided as a starting point or guide to quality
concrete performance in portland cement concrete pavement. The information serves as a way
to identify the key elements that are required of the pavement owner and contractor for each
project. They provide an outline for success, but are not detailed in nature and are open to
enhance or delete items that are already common to the participants in a given state or local
government.

To accomplish the construction objectives for concrete pavements, it is necessary to have


meetings during the design (pre-bid) and construction (pre-pour/preconstruction) period,
between the contracting agency and the contractor(s) in order to work out the details. The
purpose of the Pre-Bid, Preconstruction and Pre-Pour conferences and the key elements
(checklist) of each are shown below.

PRE-BID MEETING CHECK LIST


Pre-bid meetings provide an opportunity for the owner to review project requirements and
receive input with the contractors who may have an interest in bidding for the project.
Although pre-bid meetings tend to be primarily a review of administrative and contractual
matters, it is important to use them to highlight modifications implemented in the plans and
specifications with the contractors.

The pre-bid meeting gives the contracting agency an opportunity to identify new and different
items in the areas of specifications, materials and construction processes that are expected in
the construction project. It is also a good time to receive input from the contractors on
important design and construction items such as jointing, surface preparation of the existing
pavement, paving exceptions, schedules and staging.

It is the opportunity to discuss the intent of the work changes. Critical material
supply/availability issues, and specific acceptance testing requirements also need to be
addressed. Minutes of the meeting should be distributed to all potential bidders (those who
have requested bid documents) whether they are in attendance or not. Paving related items for
discussion include:

PRE-BID MEETING
I. Overlay Project Items of Special Attention
1. Phasing and staging plan
2. Scheduling criteria, including which areas are accessible, restrictions on site access,
and working hours
3. Scheduling milestones with incentives/disincentives
4. Allowable mixtures and special conditions
5. Strength requirements and strength testing measurement methods
6. Traffic control, clearances, staging requirements and edge drop restrictions
7. Expected and unexpected delay resolution
8. Plant and staging area locations
9. Paving sequence, paver clearance and pavement drop off limitations
pg. 117
10. Haul road locations
11. QA, acceptance testing and QC requirements
12. Issuance of design and specification changes
13. Special conditions such as tie-bar locations, widening details, etc.
14. Saw cut depths and timing and importance of early joint development
15. Curing, particularly curing for thin pavement sections
16. Incentives and disincentives applied to concrete pavement construction
17. Pavement ride requirements on the finished product.
18. Importance of reducing the length of time for job completion
II. Alternative Bid Provisions
1. Materials selection
2. Management method (conventional, A+B, etc)
III. Discussion of questions from the prospective contractors
IV. Issuance of addendums to clarify questions raised at the Pre-bid conference.
1. Minutes of the meeting to all who attended and those who call for plans on the
project.

PRE-POUR / PRECONSTRUCTION REVIEW CHECKLIST


Pre-pour or pre-construction meetings can be very productive when the contractor is tasked
with addressing the pertinent items. They may be conducted as one combined meeting or two
separate meetings depending on the level of detail the contractor is able to provide at the
Preconstruction Meeting. The contractor should be able to present their plan for addressing
each of the items on the review checklist for review and comment at this meeting. Forcing the
contractor to think about the project and build it on paper before the pre-work meeting will
pay big dividends. The overlay team should be involved in the pre-work to the extent that we
can provide guidance and answers to unresolved issues and/or to identify potential problems
with the contractor’s approach.
I. General Items
1. Identify the chain of command in the decision making process
2. Identify roles and responsibilities of key staff for all involved parties
3. Review of all design and construction changes issued since bid
4. Certification of materials sources
5. Mixture design submittals
6. QMP/CQC laboratory and personnel certifications
7. Batch plant certification and mixer efficiency tests
8. Construction schedule
9. Payment schedules
10. Sub-contractor activities
11. Construction survey
12. Haul roads and access points
13. Traffic control plan for each phase of the work
14. Working days allowed and method of counting
15. Expected start date
16. Phone numbers and email addresses of key personnel such as contractor and
agency representatives, traffic control manager, material suppliers and utility
location representatives.
17. Liquidated damages

pg. 118
18. EEO/AA requirements
19. Public information notification process to be used during construction
20. Pollution control plans
21. Safety inspections
22. Change order process

II. Contractor Project Plan


1. Identify the chain of command in the decision making and construction process
2. Work schedule breakdown by major task, starting date and expected duration
3. Field lab location
4. Field office location
5. Subcontract documentation
6. Material source and quality certifications
7. Material testing lab and technician certifications
8. Submittal of concrete mixture design
9. Water sources and testing
10. Traffic control plan for each phase of the work
11. Haul road and access point location and duration identification
12. Construction survey
a. Method – contract or owner
b. Type and amount of available information
c. Stringline or stringless construction
d. Development of the profile grade and concrete quantity by whom and when. Is
there an approval process and timeline before construction?
e. Reestablishment of land corners and centerline control points
13. Public information notification process to be used during construction

III. Utility Concerns


1. Locations in the project limits, key personnel for location contact , and expected
plans for relocation where necessary
IV. Local Jurisdiction Concerns
1. Coordination with local road projects or city/county special activities (festivals)

V. Concrete Placement Activities (This can be part of the preconstruction conference or a


separate pre-pour conference)
1. Batching Activities
a. Identification of central mix or ready mix supply source.
b. Stockpile management to eliminate segregation
c. Batch plant certification and mixer efficiency testing
d. Anticipated plant production rates
e. Concrete haul route identification and estimated truck number needed for
existing traffic along the route.
f. Consideration of alternative mixtures to meet weather changes
g. Aggregate stockpile moisture
h. Identify washout areas for trucks

pg. 119
2. Concrete Paving (Placement, finishing, texturing and curing)
a. Concrete pavement temperature planning and management.
On site weather condition monitoring - Who and how it entered into the
decision to pave and cover or not to pave
b. Placement and filler lane scheduling
c. Base preparation (patching, milling, recycling)
d. Equipment breakdown procedures
e. Maximum allowable concrete haul times
f. Placement procedures (equipment and methods)
g. Estimated mixture temperature at the time of placement
h. Thickness verification during placement
i. Estimated time from placement to time that allows for joint sawing
j. Hot/cold weather specifications and precautions
1.) Changes in mixture for weather or material changes
2.) Identification of method and materials to be used to protect the concrete in
case of changes in weather (rain, snow or hot/cold)
k. Temperature control of existing ACC surfaces
l. Vibrator testing/consolidation issues
m. Curing and texturing equipment, rates and construction procedures
n. Tie bar/dowel location, insertion, alignment, spacing, offset verification
o. Straight edge and edge slump tolerances
p. Plastic shrinkage cracking, edge slump, joint spalling, and full-depth cracking
treatments

3. Joint Development (Longitudinal and transverse)


a. Review of contractor saw cutting QC plan (number, type, and method of
sawing)
b. Consideration of employing early entry saws
c. Backup saw availability (number, personnel and location to project)
d. Rain conditions and skip sawing procedures
e. Joint reservoir size, shape, depth cut dimension tolerances and dimensions
f. Joint sealing installation and acceptance procedures
g. Saw cutting sequence and acceptable degree of saw cut raveling
h. Joint sealant and backer rod material certification submittals
i. Requirements on removal and flushing of joint sawing residue
j. Joint beveling procedures (if required)
k. Joint sealant and concrete curing time requirements and methods
l. Joint sand blasting, reservoir cleanliness, and moisture condition requirements
before sealing
m. Joint sealant surface depth tolerances Sealant pump, water truck, and saw
cutting equipment
n. Allowable ambient temperatures during sealing operations and compression
seal reservoir requirements
o. Joint inspection procedures

pg. 120
4. QA Activities
a. Delineation of owner and contractor responsibilities in testing and sampling.
b. Review of contractor’s QC plan
c. Aggregate durability, soundness, abrasion, and gradation test data and
requirements
d. Reinforcing steel and dowel bar submittals
e. Materials sampling and testing procedures
f. Development and use of control charts
g. Concrete mixture designs and water-cementitious ratio effects on strength
h. Concrete sampling, fabrication, curing, and testing procedures
i. Sampling and pay factor computation overview
j. Documentation of test results and deviations
k. Verification of failing acceptance tests, retesting, and referee testing
l. Actions to be taken if specification requirements are not met
m. Pavement smoothness testing and timing
n. Treatment of premature cracking and spalling
o. Resolution procedures for expected and unexpected delay

pg. 121